You can try to be a bit clever and include some promising but unproven horses in a list of horses to follow during the jumps season or focus on horses that have already produced the goods at the highest level. Horses often go back to the Cheltenham Festival and win races after being successful in a previous season. The horses to back during the 2018/19 National Hunt season in this list have already delivered at the meeting that matters most and can do the business again this season. The festival is unique in that it brings together the best horses in an atmosphere few have experienced before and knowing what to expect is worth its weight in gold. The Grand National is another unique occasion and experience of the fences and the whole occasion is worth a few pounds in weight.
In no particular order here is Rick Elliott’s top 5 horses to follow for the jumps season:
Tiger Roll won the Grand National in April and will be aimed at the race again. It takes a special horse to win more than one National because the winner is burdened with more weight. Red Rum is the only horse to win the most famous steeplechase in the world three times and Tiger Roll could become a dual winner next spring as long as the handicapper gives the horse a fighting chance.
Samcro will be kept over hurdles this season and is the current favourite for the Champion Hurdle. The horse is a chaser in the making and has the scope to win the Champion Hurdle and then Gold Cup. Dawn Run is the only horse to win the most prestigious races over hurdles and fences and Samcro can complete the first leg of the double by winning the Champion Hurdle next March.
Native River won the Gold Cup last season and there is nothing to suggest the horse cannot win the race again. However, soft ground is more suitable and other horses may have more pace when the going is quick. However, if it comes up soft next March Native River will again be the horse to beat in the Gold Cup though Might Bite will relish good going.
Summerville Boy made two jumping mistakes at the end of the festival opener last season but still had enough in the tank to storm up the hill and win the race. A lesser horse would have faded out of contention but this animal produced a winning run. The Champion Hurdle looks like the target and that will be a tough ask but Summerville Boy looks a big each way price in the ante post market.
Altior has won different races at the last three festivals and can win again in March. The horse won the Champion Chase last season after looking in trouble at the top of the hill. The fall of Douvan made the task easier but Altior showed the class and turn of foot to win the race. Another Champion Chases is the target and on form and ratings Altior is the horse to back.
If you wish to extend your list and back other horses blindly during the season I suggest Laurina, Black Op, Kalashnikov, Min and Faugheen should be included to create 10 horses to follow over the next five months.