Last season's National Hunt Horses to Follow section featured the likes of Altior, Native River, Master Blueyes and Willoughby Court amongst others and proved to be a section of the website I was very proud of.

I have studied hard to produce a list of horses whom I feel will be worth following this 2017 - 2018 jumps season.

I hope you all enjoy what I've put together and again I would appreciate any feedback at any time of the season, please just email [email protected]
Full List


ANY DRAMA (Harry Fry)

I’ve included this horse again in my horses to follow section as I still feel he hasn’t shown his best on the track.  He won without breaking sweat by a wide margin at both Market Rasen and Exeter earlier this year before blowing up at Cheltenham.  The trip seemed to be his downfall that day and 2m4f seems around the furthest he should go.  Soft ground will be ideal for him and I’m convinced there’s a good race to be won with him this season

BALTAZAR D'ALLIER (Gordon Elliott)

I've added this horse to the tracker tentatively however I'm convinced he's got a big future ahead of him.  He made his racecourse debut for Gordon Elliott in November last year and bolted up beating Mighty Stowaway with ease under a confident Mark Walsh ride.  He then finished second behind Messire Des Obeaux at Newbury a month later before falling when favourite in a four runner race won by Monbeg Notorious.  He's likely to go novice chasing this season and this will be where we see the best of him.  I almost put him in my dark horses section as I think he may be slightly underestimated and I cannot wait to see how he progresses this term.


Having won well in a hot Newbury Bumper in March this horse impressed all as he was very green that day but still came home in front.  Highlighted in my recent interview with Michael Legg as his horse to follow for the season he looks to have a very exciting year ahead.  It will be interesting to see if connections decide to stick to bumpers or go hurdling as he has potential to mix it at the spring festivals in a bumper.  Either way he will win races and is firmly in the notebook

CAMPEADOR (Gordon Elliott)

A frustrating campaign for this horse last season when having been thrown in at the deep end on debut and finishing fourth he looked the winner of the Fred Winter and following handicap at Fairyhouse but on both occasions succumbing to the final fence with the race at his mercy.  One thing that can’t be doubted however is his jumping quality and massive engine which was obvious in both of these races and providing he’s not one to flop under pressure he could be high class


This horse made a winning start to his career under rules on debut at Warwick in a bumper before connections threw him in at the deep end in the Champion Bumper where he wasn’t disgraced in 9th.  The fact connections threw him in like that suggests just how high they rate this gelding and given the class he shown on debut it would be no surprise if he was well above average.  He’ll go novice hurdling this season and he could be very good

DASHING PERK (Dr Richard Newland)

In Dr Newland’s interview for he highlighted Dashing Perk as “an interesting prospect who will go for staying novice hurdles initially but could prove above average”.  An expensive purchase for the yard at £50k he was given a pretty hectic campaign soon after arriving at the yard contesting two bumpers in a short space of time before finding Imperial Bay too good on his hurdling bow.  They finished in excess of 30 lengths ahead of Twist On Ginge who is rated in the region of 115.  Dr Newland does well with regenerating horses from other yards that may need a change of scenery or a change in code however in this horse he has a little something different and I’d expect him to be able to place this horse expertly in hurdles before a career as a chaser beckons.  I would be very surprised if this horse doesn’t shed his maiden tag sooner rather than later and he could potentially be aimed at a spring festival handicap

ELEGANT ESCAPE (Colin Tizzard)

Highlighted in last years’ Unraced Horses to Follow he was the star performer of that section winning two hurdle races at 10/1 and 8/1 respectively, following up with two decent enough graded runs thereafter.  Given his point to point background he will relish the move to the larger obstacles and I believe he will be more potent than he was over hurdles in this grade.  Still a young horse I would expect him to progress the more he runs

FINIAN’S OSCAR (Colin Tizzard)

A lack of originality in adding Finian’s Oscar to my horses to follow however Colin Tizzard’s gelding looks top top class and he now looks sure to embark on his chase career.  He has all the attributes as he goes on any ground, looks versatile in terms of trip, answers his jockeys callings when required and jumps soundly.  There is not much that there isn’t to like and you can see him taking all the beating in next years’ RSA Chase should connections go down that route

FIXE LE KAP (Nicky Henderson)

This horse looks tailor-made for fences and I suggest readers keep on the right side of him this winter.  Suited by genuinely soft ground his first season culminated in a listed hurdle success in France which was a huge bonus as I feel his vocation was always going to be chasing.  He’s a front runner too who likes to dictate the pace and he will be a tough horse to pass this season

FOREST BIHAN (Brian Ellison)

This Brian Ellison horse improved markedly last season once switching to the larger obstacles.  Highly talented and hugely regarded it was great to see the level he got to last term and more can be expected with another summer on his back.  He may never win a race by a distance as he tends to get lonely out in front (his Aintree run as an example) but he is up there with the very best young two milers.  I can see him winning some big races this season and he may be available at some decent prices.  He won on reappearance in telling fashion having jumped efficiently and he is one who will go far this season

GIVE ME A COPPER (Paul Nicholls)

A well regarded gelding from Presenting he won his maiden and novice with a disappointing run in between at Doncaster.  I suspect he will go chasing this season and given his point to point form this could be the making of him.  Paul said he wasn’t right at Doncaster so I’m inclined to put a line through that run and I’m sure there is more to come.  I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t end up at Cheltenham in March contesting one of the good novice chases.

JERRYSBACK (Philip Hobbs)

A JP McManus inclusion that I couldn’t help but add to the list.  He recorded two odds on favourite successes last term as a novice hurdler with the minimum of fuss but it wasn’t just the performances that impressed me, Jerrysback is an imposing figure of a horse who looks tailor-made for a chase career this season.  He attacked his hurdles with real finesse and moved like a high class sort.  He has the makings of a very special horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him under rules over the larger obstacles, I can see him at Cheltenham in March

LALOR (Richard Woolacott)

You cannot help but be impressed with the way this horse won the Aintree Bumper.  I was there on Ladies Day and this win was the most telling of all that day and one that stayed in the memory (and that’s something given the level of alcohol consumption).  He looked a striking horse who travelled with real vigor before putting the race to bed under the champion jockey for an easy success in what was a good quality field.  The fact he’s with small connections could allow him to go under the radar slightly in the good novice hurdle races and I’d expect him to compete at the highest level whilst being a backable price.  He has massive potential and I suggest readers don’t let his lessor named trainer put them off this son of It’s Gino

LE BREUIL (Ben Pauling)

The Apple of Ben Pauling’s eye this horse won two novice hurdles with ease last season before a disappointing run at Aintree.  Ben’s horses weren’t firing at the time so I’m tempted to put a line through that run and given how he ran prior to that he looked a horse going places.  Ben has never hidden his admiration for this horse and he says he’d be surprised if he wasn’t a graded horse by the middle of this season.  He has high aspirations for him and given the expected improvement he could be one for the big spring festivals in 2018


This unbeaten horse out of Lucarno hasn’t pulled up trees in his wins so far in his career and at the prices last year would have given his backers something to worry about however the fact he only wins his races by a short distance makes me hope he will be a better betting prospect this year as there is no doubt he has a lot of ability but just seems to enjoy a bit of company.  Apparently he’s schooled well over hurdles and connections seem to think a hell of a lot of him.  Although chasing will most likely be his Premier vocation he should make a name for himself over hurdles this season

MOUNT MEWS (Malcolm Jefferson)

A cracking horse of Presenting who won three of his five hurdles last season culminating in a three length defeat to Pingshou at Aintree in April.  That race was ran at a slow pace and didn't suit Mount Mews at all so for him to get so close despite this shows he has some real quality about him.  He travels lovely with his high cruising speed and gets to the other side of his hurdles very quickly.  I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't upped in trip at some point as I think he has plenty of stamina the way he finishes off his races but he's not short of speed either.  He has the potential to go to the very top this season

MY STORY (Neil Mulholland)

This well thought of gelding out of Court Cave has a huge amount of potential given the way in which he landed his point victory.  Roger Brookhouse shelled out £90k for him soon after and it was no surprise to me to see him put in two ordinary performances under rules as part of his education to bigger things.  He has a turn of foot and jumped quickly through the air in his point so I’d be hopeful he can put those traits in to action this season over timber.  I think he could be very good

NOBLE ROBIN (Jonjo O Neill)

I’m doing my best not to put many JP McManus horses in my sections as I find him almost as reliable as my tips but I’m going to throw this bay gelding in to the mix.  Purchased for a fee reported to be over £200k by JP this horse made a telling impression on his Point before failing to live up to expectations on debut.  That day he made a crunching mistake and was fighting a losing battle from then on.  I feel he will prove much better than that performance and the fact he stayed on despite the error will bode well for his future.  I fully expect him to make his mark this season.  It will be interesting to see how he is campaigned as I think connections will want to get him over fences sooner rather than later but I’d expect him to win a confidence building novice hurdle before moving on to bigger and better things

OUR DUKE (Jessica Harrington)

This horse looks to have everything!  He jumps well, stays well, versatile groundwise and position-wise, he’s a proper horse.  The way in which he breezed up in the Irish Grand National giving weight was hugely impressive and he looks a big contender for the Gold Cup in March.  I like him a lot

POLI ROI (Gordon Elliott)

Having won well enough under Jamie Codd on debut Poli Roi was thrown in to the deep end on his second start at the Punchestown Festival where he finished an excellent third ahead of some more experienced horses (the likes of Someday and Carter Mackay).  It was a performance that showed that he has a good attitude to racing and that he has a fair amount of ability at such an early stage.  He cost a fair amount of money for Gigginstown to acquire and based on his two races under rules last season I think he has a very bright future.  He was slightly disappointing when second to The Rory Story recently but he jumped efficiently enough on the main before an error at the second last hindered his chances.  I doubt he was fully wound up for that race and i'm happy to bypass it as it was his first run of the season.  He looks a real stayer to me and the stiffer the test the better he’ll be.  He could be very good and a potential Cheltenham performer

POLITOLOGUE (Paul Nicholls)

This horse has the potential to be Paul Nicholls’ number one chaser having already notched up a rating of 154 and it would be no surprise should improvement keep coming.  His best effort yet was at Aintree where he looked the winner all over before stumbling after the final fence in a novice grade one.  He jumps superbly and travels well.  He has a lot of ticks in the boxes as a chaser and if he can find a little bit more he could be a household name this winter

PYM (Nicky Henderson)

Sporting the same colours as Altior this young gelding made a telling debut at Ayr winning what could be a pretty decent bumper with plenty of authority.  This horse may be a slightly different type to Altior and may require a bit more of a trip however the raw ability is there for all to see and he has realistic aspirations of making it as a graded novice hurdler this season.  I like him

RAPID ESCAPE (Gordon Elliott)

This gelding of Gordon Elliott’s made his rules debut at the Punchestown Festival with a decent reputation and plenty of money behind him in the betting.  Unfortunately he found the trip too sharp that day as he finished 5th behind some exciting types.  It was still an encouraging start and I’m sure connections would have been pleased with what they witnessed.  He looks tailor-made for soft ground and a trip of 2m4f plus to be seen at his best.  He shouldn’t be underestimated off the back of that run and given the usual improvement he could mix it in the good novice hurdles this season

RAVENHILL ROAD (Brian Ellison)

Brian Ellison is a trainer making a bit of a name for himself up north and he could have a very good horse in Ravenhill Road having won his two bumpers with impressive performances.  Likely to be seen at his best over 2m4f+ he has to be one to keep on the right side of


This highly regarded filly looks to have a big bright future having burst on to the scene with a comprehensive win on rules debut in a bumper.  She went off short price favourite for both her appearances afterwards but failed to land a blow.  I wouldn’t read much in to those performances given that her jockey David Dunsdon.  Owned by his family Redhotfillypeppers gave her jockey a steering job on debut but when having to be ridden didn’t find as would have been expected.  Her jockey has not won many races in his career and looks a fair bit unbalanced in comparison to a professional, he’s not one that will feature in a decent meeting and therefore the form of his rides can be upgraded.  When Redhotfillypeppers moves in to hurdles under the likes of Ruby Walsh I feel she will be a force to be reckoned with and I’d be surprised if she is not contesting a decent race at Cheltenham next March.

SAMCRO (Gordon Elliott)

This horse won’t be much of a surprise neither much of a price I suspect much this season however I couldn’t not include him in my Horses to Follow.  He couldn’t have started his rules career with a bigger reputation and thankfully he has shown huge ability in disposing of his opposition on all 3 starts to date.  He cost a huge £335k so he has high expectations but he’s certainly made his mark so far.  He’s well built, looks versatile in terms of both trip and ground.  I expect him to continue his progression and take a prize at one of the big spring festivals


Slightly disappointed on debut for Nicholls at Ascot I was taken with the way he travelled in that race at such a high pace before weakening like in need of the run.  He jumped neatly enough on debut and I’m convinced if he was fitter he would have beaten Kimberlite Candy that day.  He looked to me like a horse that would meet the top tier given expected improvement and he’s been given plenty of time to come in to himself.  He is one not to be underestimated and we may get a price about him to win a novice hurdle before going on to bigger and better things

SENOR LOMBARDY (Keith Dalgleish)

Senor Lombardy showed a neat turn of foot in his point and a slick jumping action to land the spoils in a race previously won by Faugheen.  Keith Dalgleish clearly seen something that he wanted to be a part of and took the chance in purchasing him for a handsome sum.  He will probably meet his primary vocation as a chaser but he should do well enough in bumpers/hurdles beforehand.  He made his rules debut at Kelso in a bumper where he found Ey Up Rocky to good after being well backed in the betting.  I read a blog from Micky Hammond that day and he was very keen on the winner so I wouldn’t be put off by him seemingly disappointing a long odds on.  I’ve a feeling that both horses could be very good

THE WICKET CHICKEN (Neil Mulholland)

After starting her rules career slowly this mare has come in to her own over hurdles and finished the season progressing nicely.  She handled the step up in trip last time out with aplomb and jumps like a good one.  I would expect her to continue her improvement this season.  She should win plenty of races and make it as a graded hurdler against her own sex

TOPOFTHEGAME (Paul Nicholls)

Having won his Irish Point with little fuss and jumping with precision I would be very surprised if Paul doesn’t throw Flemensfirth gelding quickly over the larger obstacles as he looks tailor-made for the game.  He has shown enough under rules to suggest he has an engine and a high cruising speed but has lacked that extra punch near the finish.  The slickness he shown in his point gave me the impression that he will be a different beast over fences and I would be very surprised if he didn’t make it in to graded level whilst he could be one horse that propels his trainer back to the summit of the big festivals in years to come

WAITING PATIENTLY (Malcolm Jefferson)

With Mount Mews, Double W’s and Cloudy Dream in his ranks Malcolm Jefferson has some top drawer horses at his disposal for this season however the one horse he appears to be looking forward to more than any is Waiting Patiently who won all three of his novice chases last season before suffering a minor injury which kept him out for the rest of the campaign.  There is no doubt from what he’s shown so far on the track that he could be grade one material