The Jump Season is already into its stride and we have seen some eye-catching performances already. Here, The Wine Tipster shares his top 10 horses to follow this Jump Season. Some of these have already had their seasonal debut, others to race very soon.
Hillcrest is such an impressive looking individual and this highly regarded type surely has plenty of improvement to come this season. In his two bumpers he finished second first time out to Wiseguy and then beat Armand De Brignac, with Harper’s Brook in third, who won at Carlisle on seasonal debut. There is no doubt that Hillcrest is seen as having a very bright future by his trainer and it would be great to see him do so well for the late Trevor Hemmings. He is entered at Aintree on Saturday.
Soaring Glory looked the real deal when winning Newbury’s big February handicap and then didn’t quite hit the level in the Supreme at Cheltenham when fourth to the top class Appreciate It. However, he bounced right back at Ascot on Saturday when winning the London Handicap Hurdle Listed Race when tipped up in my Unibet column. This six-year-old looked very visually impressive after his Summer break and beat a good field with something in hand after looking the winner someway out. Jonjo O’Neill might run Soaring Glory at the Cheltenham November Meeting, although more likely at Newbury at the end of the month.
Very well backed on seasonal reappearance last year and beat Hooper fair and square with form that looks very good now and after two more wins at Chepstow and Wetherby before he lost his form (although still running respectably) in the Spring. Only had the nine hurdles starts – winning four of them – and gives the impression there’s still more to come when stepped up in trip slightly. Watch for him first time up, especially if the ground is on the soft side.
It’s possible, given his size, that he might go chasing this year but his jumping, to an extent, held him back a bit last year and if that can be tidied up a bit there’s still some good races to be won with him over hurdles this season. Ready winner of first three starts before his jumping again cost him a place in the Ballymore but he kept trying all the way to the line regardless, and it would be no surprise if he stepped up in trip this year. Exciting prospect, whatever discipline connections decide to go for.
Unusually for them, connections have taken their time with him (presumably because he’s a bit weak) and that could pay off this season. Good fourth in an Ascot bumper and then better still when second to Knappers Hill at Aintree, doing a lot of good late work under patient tactics and looked very much like 2m4f+ will suit him as a novice this year. Peking Rose was third on seasonal debut at Ascot to Kandoo Kid and will step up from that performance as he has loads to come as he strengthens up.
Lovely, big gelding that made a good impression when successful at Hereford over hurdles last November and, when given time to get over that, ran better than finishing position suggested at Haydock showing up well for a long way before getting tired. Thrown in at deep end in the Albert Bartlett, unsurprisingly tailed off but I’d expect him to improve a lot for fences this year (has won two Irish points) and can see him making up into one of the better novice chasers.
Scopey, good-looking gelding that stood out in the paddock at both Market Rasen and Ludlow last year, successful in the latter and should have won at Market Rasen but maybe jockey kicked on too soon and he was caught late on. Not disgraced on handicap debut at Cheltenham, fell last when still in touch and, as unexposed as he is, has plenty of potential for fences this season. Quinta Do Mar won a Handicap Hurdle at Carlisle on seasonal reappearance in October going away from Onehundredpercent when ridden very confidently. There is plenty more to come here.
Third Time Lucki was so eye-catching at The Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham on ground that was definitely on the quick side. He pulled himself to the front and won so comfortably after jumping in great style on chasing debut. Last season he had seven starts and will be campaigned differently this term with the Arkle in March the target.
Lovely, lengthy sort that’s made for fences (is a full brother to Lord Windermere, amongst others); in truth, disappointing that he couldn’t get off the mark over hurdles but had issues (treated for post-race ataxia on one occasion) and maybe final Ludlow run was one too many for the year, but you’d expect him to do a lot better over fences, given that pedigree and his size, so too soon to be giving up on him yet. He is entered at Aintree on Saturday.
Looked very useful in bumpers/novice hurdles early in career but things didn’t go his way last year. However, the fact that he was thrown in at the deep end shows what they thought he was capable of and he travelled as well as anything in the Swinton and he lost nothing in defeat to a race-fit rival at Warwick last week with things again not going his way. He remains with the potential to make up into a very useful chaser if he can keep his exuberance in check (wore red hood at Warwick, keen). On seasonal debut Any News was third at Cheltenham behind Third Time Lucki, who is Arkle bound, when running on and can build on that performance.
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