With the flat season at a close, attention now turns to the new National Hunt campaign.
Old favourites including Thistlecrack, Sizing John and Native River will all be back on the track soon. But which newer faces should racing punters be looking out for?
We’ve picked out 10 to add to your tracker from 10 different trainers.
Despite being a seven-year-old, Black Op has only really been on the scene for just over a year.
He’s made quite the impression in that time – finishing runner-up in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and winning the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
Another big season beckons for the straightforward raider who should turn to fences this time. The Arkle, the RSA Chase or the JLT are all possible destinations.
Purchased for £400,000 on behalf of Cheveley Park at last year’s Cheltenham sales, this classy French-bred raider will be trained by Gordon Elliott.
The son of Muhtathir showed a serious turn of pace when demolishing his rivals by 10l on debut at Ballinboola in February.
He could end up going for the Ballymore or the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle next year, depending on seasonal form.
Ms Parfois is a name that should be familiar to most jumps fans.
Anthony Honeyball’s raider enjoyed a sterling novice chasing season, finishing runner-up in the Cheltenham Challenge Cup and the Mildmay Novices’ Chase.
A breathing op should open up further improvement, while her braveness and staying ability could lend itself to a Welsh or Grand National tilt.
The Lancashire Chase has in November has also been mooted.
On The Blind Side
Nicky Henderson has plenty of cards to play this season, but one of the most exciting might be On The Blind Side.
The son of Stowaway chalked up wins at the Cheltenham November meeting and at Sandown before defeat at Aintree in April. He now looks primed for a novice season chasing.
His nature lends itself to the bigger obstacles, and with his ability to stay not looking in any doubt, he could be a serious player back at Cheltenham in March.
The Arkle could be the aim for Henry de Bromhead’s novice chaser, who enjoyed a sterling time hurdling last term.
Another son of Stowaway, he went close in Grade 1 company and notably finished third over 2m in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last term.
He looks set to make his debut over fences this Autumn and should be a real player if he can continue on an upward trend.
It’d be remiss of us to include at least one horse from Willie Mullins’ crop.
And Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Relegate looks as game as any as she graduates to hurdling this time around.
So much so, in fact, that our traders have had no hesitation in pricing her up as the ante-post favourite for the Mares’ Novices Hurdle next March.
Tom Lacey’s runner has been touted by many as one to watch this season – and it’s easy to see why.
The four-year-old won a point-to-point contest by 15l in January before making a winning start under Rules in a 15-runner flat race at Ayr in April.
He looks a nice type to handle and should prove another enticing prospect to Lacey, who trained Jester Jet to a win at the Aintree Festival last season.
Sebastopol’s seasonal reappearance could come in Friday’s card at Cheltenham, with Bumpers in mind later in the campaign.
Time To Move On
Connections are positive about the long-term chances of the half-brother to Barney Dwan, who showed in two Bumper wins last season that he relishes cut in the ground.
The expectation is that he’ll be lightly raced this term, with Fergal O’Brien talking up his prospects as a chaser.
Dan Skelton has plenty of promising types to follow this season. But one of the most interesting could be the unbeaten Tokay Dokey.
The Gold Well gelding returned to the track with a comfortable 2l victory at Uttoxeter in October.
He travelled well on his hurdling debut and is one to keep an eye on as the campaign progresses.
After going unbeaten as a four-year-old, Vinndication is one we’re really excited about.
Kim Bailey’s runner ended last season with a Listed win at Huntington before connections opted to miss the Cheltenham Festival.
Bailey described how the “sky is the limit” for the gelding, who should have matured over the winter.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication