Paul Ferguson: Three to follow for the upcoming Jumps season

Nicky Henderson will be hoping for an excellent campaign with the exciting Chantry House.
Nicky Henderson will be hoping for an excellent campaign with the exciting Chantry House.

Following the release of his new book, Jumpers To Follow 2020-21, Paul Ferguson provides us with a sneak peak by highlighting three runners who it may be worth keeping on eye on this season...

CHANTRY HOUSE (Nicky Henderson)

Arkle favourite Shishkin is probably just about the most exciting novice chase prospect in England, but stable-mate Chantry House is another who I am really looking forward to seeing over fences. 11 lengths behind his stable-companion in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, this six-year-old son of Yeats looks ready for a step up in trip, and I would have expected to see him take his chance in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, had the season not ended prematurely. Earlier in the campaign, he won with ease at Cheltenham (strong form) and Newbury, and this former Irish Points winner has bags of scope to improve for a fence. He looked an absolute picture in the paddock ahead of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and I expect him to be campaigned over mid-range trips this season, with the Steel Plate & Sections (Cheltenham) or the Berkshire Novices’ Chase (Newbury) possible starting points next month. The Scilly Isles would be another option for him in the second half of the season, and it will be disappointing if he can’t win a Graded event at some stage.

BOB OLINGER (Henry de Bromhead)

A 15-length winner of a maiden Point at Turtulla, when trained by Pat Doyle, Bob Olinger made his Rules debut in a 2m2f Point-to-Point Bumper at Gowran Park, and he again ran out a very impressive winner. That race has gone the way of First Lieutenant, Yorkhill and Minella Melody in recent years, and this son of Sholokhov controlled the race from the front, under Patrick Mullins. He stretched right away in the closing stages, to record what was (visually) one of the most impressive displays of the season in the bumper division, and I expect him to make a big impact in the novice hurdle division, when he might need 2m4f or thereabouts to be seen at his best.

HOI POLLOI (Emma Lavelle)

Another who might well have gone to Aintree had the Grand National meeting taken place in April, Hoi Polloi had shown a fine turn of foot to win a slowly-run bumper at Kempton, and would certainly have been a possible for the Grade 2. A good-looking son of Shantou, he was an expensive store, and was ridden patiently/confidently by Adam Wedge. Having travelled well into the straight, he was short of room and had to switch right around the field, before the penny dropped once seeing daylight with a furlong to run. He quickened up well to win decisively, whilst also leaving the impression that he would improve considerably for the experience. The runner-up won a bumper during the summer (although was beaten on hurdling debut in September), but more significantly both Es Perfecto (3rd) and Lord Baddesley (5th) have made winning hurdling debuts in recent weeks, so the form looks strong. He certainly looks to have the pace to start off over the minimum trip, and he looks a nice prospect for the Emma Lavelle stable.

Jumpers To Follow 2020/21 is on-sale now for £11.95, and can be purchased here.

2021 Cheltenham Festival
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