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Racing TV presenters and pundits pick their horses to follow for the Jumps season

Thu 8 Oct 2020

Our expert team of pundits and presenters have compiled a list of horses for the 2020-21 Jumps season - make sure you add them into your Racing TV tracker!

This article first appeared in the Racing TV Club Magazine - if you're a Racing TV member, click HERE TO READ THE LATEST EDITION IN FULL!

This time last year our presenters and pundits picked an abundance of future winners and will bid to repeat that feat again this season.

Oli Bell nominated Two For Gold (his pick again this season), who won his first three starts, including at odds of 3-1 and 11-4.

Martin Dixon's choice, Brewin'upastorm, won his first two starts of the season, and David Fitzgerald's selection Millers Bank also picked up two wins from his three outings.

Donn McClean's Delta Work won two of his four starts at odds of 11-2 and 5-2, and Tom Stanley obliged with dual winner, I K Brunel.

Saldier, nominated by Nick Luck and Ruby Walsh, won his only start at 7-1. Other winners included a hat-trick scorer, the top-class Goshen (Mark Johnson), Cap Du Mathan (Mark Howard), Chacun Pour Soi (Angus McNae), Proschema (Dave Nevison) and Reserve Tank (John O’Connell).

Simply click on the horse’s name and then the binocular icon to add them into your Racing TV tracker. You can then keep track of your horses via the tracker page here and will be notified when they are entered/ declared to run.

DAN BARBER

Horse: Greaneteen

Trainer: Paul Nicholls.

Age: 6.

Greaneteen finished fourth in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival

It has been a while since a top-end, two-mile handicap chaser made a successful transition to the best open company; running during a period featuring the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Master Minded will do that to a young pretender.

However, in the shape of Greaneteen, who is trained like the last-named champion by Paul Nicholls, there may finally be some youthful legs to make his presence felt outside handicaps.

Greaneteen has a very assured jumping technique, still has age on his side and did nothing but progress in his novice season, culminating with a luckless fourth in the strongest Grand Annual there has been for a good while at the Cheltenham Festival.

OLI BELL

Horse: Two For Gold

Trainer: Kim Bailey.

Age: 7.

Two For Gold showed a tremendous attitude to win a Grade Two at Warwick last season

Owned by the May We Never Be Found Out Partnership, of which I have a very small share, he was a tough Grade Two novice chase winner at Warwick last season and has some decent form next to his name.

He’s really strengthened up over the winter and, as a second-season novice, could do well in some valuable handicap chases. Long term, he could even make up into a Grand National horse.

FRAN BERRY

Horse: The Big Getaway

Trainer: Willie Mullins.

Age: 6.

The Big Getaway was an eyecatcher at the Cheltenham Festival behind Envoi Allen

He ran a huge race behind Envoi Allen in the Ballymore when finishing third beaten eight lengths. He faded after the last having led for most of the way and got his rivals into a bit of trouble after the second last when he kicked for home.

A big unit who is not the most natural over his hurdles (he did win a point-to-point), he could make up into a high-class novice chaser if sent down that route by connections.

I would not be surprised to see him line up as a market leader for one of the novice chases at the Festival in March, possibly the Marsh Chase, and he makes plenty of appeal at 16-1 for that contest in the ante-post market.

GORDON BROWN

Horse: Flowery

Trainer: Iain Jardine.

Age: 8.

Formerly a wayward point-to-pointer and moderate hurdler in Ireland, he has been massively transformed since moving to Dumfriesshire. He produced an instant return by winning his first two starts over hurdles and has also shown smart form over fences. The plan for this winter is to race exclusively on left-handed tracks, on soft ground, in chases over around two and a half miles.

RICHARD HOILES

Horse: Hold The Note

Trainer: Mick Channon.

Age: 6.

Hold The Note was not beaten far at this year's Cheltenham Festival

Still only six, Hold The Note gave the impression he wasn't always seen to best effect last season and looks the type to do well in the plethora of two-and-a-half-mile handicaps run at Cheltenham during the season.

His solid finish at the Festival when third to Imperial Aura suggests winning off a mark of 146 will be well within his compass.

STEVE JONES

Horse: Springfield Fox

Trainer: Tom George.

Age: 7.

Springfield Fox in winning action at Exeter

Springfield Fox failed to win over hurdles but this winner of three Irish point-to-points was always going to thrive over fences. He easily won his first two chases before unseating at Cheltenham. He loves testing ground and stays well, so he looks tailormade for staying chases around the likes of Haydock and Chepstow.

NICK LIGHTFOOT

Horse: Pic D’Orhy

Trainer: Paul Nicholls.

Age: 5.

Watch how Pic D'Orhy landed the Betfair Hurdle

Any mention of the 2020 Betfair Hurdle makes me feel unwell. Having backed Pic D’Orhy in the 2019 Triumph Hurdle, and then again on his British return at Ascot 10 months later, I managed to totally ignore the horse when he lined up a 33-1 chance in the Newbury feature in February.

He is hardly an original choice as I know that trainer Paul Nicholls has put him up as one to follow for the season – but the plan is to turn Pic D’Orhy into a formidable novice chaser.

NICK LUCK

Horse: On The Slopes

Trainer: Chris Gordon.

Age: 6.

On The Slopes scored nicely at Kempton when last seen

This horse’s progress slightly flew under the radar last season, but he improved over a stone to make up into a smart handicapper. He’s only six and is out of a mare who was hard as nails and ran 104 times, so I envisage another step forward.

He jumps beautifully, loves a sound surface and might be most effective at a strongly-run two miles.

He’s got a big handicap in him and might yet make an impression in Graded company.

JANE MANGAN

Horse: The Big Breakaway

Trainer: Colin Tizzard.

Age: 5.

Wath how The Big Breakaway fared in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

My jumps horse to follow this season is The Big Breakaway. Lightly raced last season, this chestnut brother to Kildisart won his point-to-point by 10 lengths on debut before moving to Colin Tizzard’s yard.

He was effortless in his maiden and novice hurdles, winning by a combined total of 15 lengths before heading to Cheltenham. Despite the yard enduring a torrid week in March, this horse ran well behind Envoi Allen in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle when finishing fourth.

He looks a chaser in stature, and on pedigree. Some horses shrink when they see fences while others grow an inch. I expect The Big Breakaway to fall into the latter category!

ANGUS McNAE

Horse: Easysland

Trainer: David Cotton.

Age: 6.

Easysland was as impressive winner when defeating Tiger Roll in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival

Easysland may have only won the cross-country chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, but the manner of the victory there where he dismissed Tiger Roll with disdain suggests that he is a chaser of immense potential.

He could dominate the cross-country division for years, but at the tender age of six, surely connections have bigger things in mind.

I see him as a live contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup for which he is widely available at 33-1.

He will be underrated and dismissed as just being a cross-country specialist, but he is far from that.

PETER NAUGHTON

Horse: Bigbadandbeautiful

Trainer: Gordon Elliott.

Age: 6.

Watch how Bigbadandbeautiful ran last time out

I've been counting the days to see Bigbadandbeautiful over hurdles and this could be the season the highly-regarded mare starts to fulfil her enormous potential.

She ran well for a long way when fourth behind the strongly-fancied Camphor over a mile and three-quarters at Galway in August when Declan McDonagh made plenty of use of his mount's stamina.

Headed only inside the final furlong, she is crying out for a stiffer test of stamina, and obstacles. She is bred to improve over hurdles and Jamie Codd revealed after the mare's success in a Navan bumper in November: "I've always loved her, she's all class and is good enough for a staying event at Royal Ascot."

For more from Peter, go to www.peternaughton.com

GARY O’BRIEN

Horse: Captain CJ

Trainer: Dermot McLoughlin.

Age: 9.

Captain CJ was successful at Navan when last seen

He developed into a very smart staying novice chaser last season and I’m hoping he can continue his progression this term. A big fancy for the abandoned Irish Grand National, Fairyhouse’s Easter Monday showpiece is again likely to be his long-term objective, but Dermot McLoughlin’s gelding should be able to bag a nice handicap before then.

The Porterstown Chase, over the same course and distance and recently boosted to €125,000, looks an ideal early target.

JOHN O’CONNELL

Horse: Captain Guinness

Trainer: Henry De Bromhead.

Age: 5.

Captain Guinness was travelling well when brought down in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Sprang a surprise on racecourse debut at Navan and was still in with a chance when brought down two out in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He is very lightly raced and now goes chasing.

He has only raced on soft, but a sound surface shouldn't inconvenience and can take high rank at the minimum trip.

TOM STANLEY

Horse: McFabulous

Trainer: Paul Nicholls.

Age: 6.

McFabulous impressed when successful at Kempton in March

Took a while to get going last year but bolted up on handicap debut having won a novice at Market Rasen. His rating rose from 132 to 145 off the back of his Kempton win and I'm looking forward to seeing him over a fence this season.

A Grade Two bumper winner and a half-brother to Waiting Patiently, he should do very well in novice chases at around two and a half miles this year.

SAM TURNER

Horse: Saint Roi

Trainer: Willie Mullins.

Age: 5.

Saint Roi made an impressive return to action this season

Winning a County Hurdle on just a fourth start over hurdles is a tough assignment but winning it virtually on the bridle is unheard of.

Saint Roi managed that feat last March and, with the form stacking up well since, it would come as no surprise to see him emerge as a serious Unibet Champion Hurdle contender this winter.

RUBY WALSH

Horse: Klassical Dream

Trainer: Willie Mullins.

Age: 6.

Re-live Klassical Dream's victory in the 2019 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle

To pick one horse in September to follow for a whole season can be divided up in different ways. Pick a guaranteed superstar such Al Boum Photo, for instance, or a top novice hurdler going chasing, such as Envoi Allen.

Or try and find the one people really want, like the horse who starts with a handicap romp and ends up a Grade One winner by the spring, progressing all the way from underdog to champion. Klassical Dream could be that one.

ED WATSON

Horse: Escaria Ten

Trainer: Gordon Elliott.

Age: 6.

Watch a replay of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle

Abacadabras can give Gordon Elliott an overdue first Champion Hurdle this season, but his lesser-heralded stablemate Escaria Ten is one I fancy to really come of age in novice chases.

He was third to Diol Ker and subsequent Albert Bartlett winner Monkfish on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse, and that form has worked out a treat.

Escaria Ten followed that fine opening effort with victories at Cork and Ayr when upped to three miles. A midfield run in the Martin Pipe at the Festival won't have been lost on this big, raw type who, as a winner of his sole start in points, promises to be a very different beast going over fences now.

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