It’s that time of year again folks, most don’t like the dark evenings closing in but there is one massive silver lining. The jumps are back!! The excitement and thrill of National Hunt racing is unequalled in my humble opinion so writing this blog is a real pleasure.
Last year’s blog biggest success was undoubtedly Waiting Patiently who lit up last season. Hopefully we will highlight another star this time round. Instead of highlighting fifteen or twenty horses and readers coming away with too much info we’ve kept it to five.
These five are all potential horses which are all aged either five or six. That leaves a lot of unknowns but also lots of excitement:
Mengli Khan. Age 5. Trainer Gordon Elliott
Not exactly an unknown but this talented five year old could be one of the stars in the novice chasing division. Having started his career on the flat with Hugo Palmer where he reached a mark of 98, he then went hurdling under Gordon Elliott’s tutelage and quickly made a name for himself. A fine season culminated with an outstanding third in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. He achieved the
same position at the Punchestown Festival but looked ready for a break. The Cheltenham performance is a standout run having jumped brilliantly throughout and battling gamely to the line. He looks like an exciting chaser in the making and I know connections feel the same.
Dlauro. Age 5. Trainer Joseph Patrick O’Brien
Unraced as of yet, this son of Lauro changed hands for a tidy sum in February of this year. He was bought by his trainer who was working on behalf of owner Lloyd J Williams after impressing on his only point to point start at Belharbour. The video footage of that run is quite taking and highlights his obvious talent.
He looks to have a big engine and can handle an obstacle even at such a young age. Having purchased the horse himself I’m sure the trainer will be eager to show connections that they’ve got a good one so I’m really looking forward to see him turn up on the racecourse.
Mister Whitaker. Age 6. Trainer Mick Channon
A very exciting second season chaser who could go very far this season. A reasonable hurdler who was always going to show his true talent when going over the larger obstacles. His rating of 118 over hurdles will pale in comparison to his chase mark by the end of this season when you consider how well he jumps and he does respond generously to pressure.
His performance at this year’s Cheltenham Festival was magnificent when he got up on the line to beat Rather Be (another to watch this season). Really top horses act around Cheltenham and he’s proven that already so his reappearance win this season came as no surprise. It reaffirmed his potential and a very exciting season looks set for connections.
Kings Socks. Age 6. Trainer David Pipe
Having arrived in David Pipe’s yard two years ago from France, we only got to see this exciting son of Kings Best in February of this year. Given a rating of 143 for his French hurdles form, his chasing debut was eagerly anticipated. A modest third at Kempton didn’t exactly blow anybody away but most racing fans suspected a typical ‘Pipe plot for Cheltenham. It didn’t quite materialise on the day despite big market support but it was a big performance. He finished fifth but travelled and jumped brilliantly. His subsequent run in Aintree will have to forgiven and big things could lay in wait this season.
Danny Kirwan. Age 5. Trainer Paul Nicholls
A very promising prospect for the novice hurdling division this season. Danny Kirwan looked ultra
impressive on his racecourse debut at Kempton last February. A big gangly raw looking type, he raced very green throughout but still managed to put the race to bed with a devastating turn of foot. He had Pym in behind that day who is a reasonable yardstick. He looked the type that would
relish an obstacle in front of him. His Aintree performance was hopefully a blip after going off favourite after plenty of market support. He’s one I am really excited to see this season and hopefully he’s one for a big campaign.
Well that’s them all and with any luck we’ve found some stars for the upcoming season. If you’re not following us on Twitter and Instagram make sure to give us a follow and see our tips being tweeted out for free all season. Best of luck with whatever you’re backing and we’ll talk soon.