Raceolly: 10 UK Horses To Follow For The 2021/2022 National Hunt Season

Check out Raceolly's 10 UK National Hunt horses to follow.
Check out Raceolly's 10 UK National Hunt horses to follow.

Our new columnist Raceolly has joined Horseracing.net ahead of the new National Hunt season, and he kicks off by looking at potential stars of the 2021/2022 Jumps campaign. In a two-part series, he picks out 20 horses (10 UK & 10 Irish) to follow for the imminent campaign over the sticks, and in part one he picks out 10 UK trained National Hunt horses to follow for the season...

1. Boothill - Harry Fry

Won a bumper at Kempton where every other runner apart from one came out and won after, and the horses down to the sixth are now rated no worse than 125. He then easily won his novice hurdle debut at Taunton where the second (Lilly Pedlar) placed in a Grade 2 next time and the third, fourth and sixth all won. He was by far the fastest from three out to the finish on the card that day which included the 135 rated Atholl Street. He will likely go novice chasing this season where Presenting horses tend to get even better. He was only 12/1 for the Champion Bumper after his Kempton win and 25/1 for the Supreme last year but unfortunately missed both. One to watch with a novice chase at Cheltenham in mind.

2. Bravemansgame - Paul Nicholls

Bravemansgame was the epitome of the saying "whatever he does over hurdles this season is a bonus", with the horse being made for fences and a trip with his trainer Paul Nicholls comparing him to the great Denman. Despite that he still won a Group 1 and placed at both Cheltenham and Aintree. Nicholls has never won the Ballymore before but has previously had Rock On Ruby and Denman place in it so Bravemansgame’s defeat there still puts him in good company.

3. Captain Quint - Rose Dobbin

Ran £330,000 buy Guily Billy close in a point-to-point and was himself sold for £110,000. Rose Dobbin has had an amazing start to the season with six winners from 17 runners (35% win rate). The point run was a huge 14 seconds faster than the average times of every other race that day and they pulled a long way clear of the third who’s already placed in a few big field hurdle races in Ireland.  Guily Billy was 11/8 for the bumper at Punchestown in April but a stone bruise on the morning meant he didn’t take that engagement up. With all the Guily Billy talk of Cheltenham Champion Bumper aspirations this season it’s worth keeping an eye on Captain Quint, who is currently going under the radar. 

4. City Chief 

Bought at the sales back in May for £210,000 after winning a point-to-point by Highflyer Bloodstock, the team behind 89 Cheltenham Festival winners since forming in 2006 and 10 winners in the last three years. Sire Soldier Of Fortune has a 16% win rate with jumpers and has already sired Cheltenham Festival winners in Early Doors and Flying Tiger with a few places along the way. Dam Galant Ferns has had one horse hit the track to date who is a maiden hurdle winner at Down Royal and rated 125 over hurdles. Running 10 times in total, winning twice and placing a further four times. Plenty of things to like about his cosy point win at Tralee in May and a bright future is likely on the cards

5. Does He Know - Kim Bailey 

Won his point-to-point in 2019 and looked every inch a chaser throughout his hurdling campaign, but still managed to collect a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in November and was fancied to win a Grade 1 when running out at Newbury in a race won by the aforementioned Bravemansgame. Well beaten on desperate ground at Exeter and lost a shoe at the festival when fifth in the Ballymore, but looks likely to build on that when chasing

Check Out Raceolly's 10 Irish Horses To Follow For The 2021/2022 National Hunt Season Here

6. Homme Public - Oliver Greenall 

Easily won a maiden hurdle at Market Rasen where the second, third and fourth all come out and won after before going off just 11/1 for the ultra competitive Boodles (Fred Winter) at the Cheltenham Festival. Things didn’t work out there but it’s possible the better ground turned out to be his undoing and the horse will be a lot better on worse underfoot conditions, which is backed up by sire stats (Cokoriko horses 12/84 on soft and heavy, but just 3/59 on good to soft or better). He’s never been out of the top two on softer ground including a neck second to the Grade One-placed Houx Gris.

7. Milkwood - Neil Mulholland 

Was slightly unlucky not to get closer still in the always hugely competitive County Hurdle at Cheltenham when losing a shoe and beaten two lengths behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Belfast Banter, who he then finished 10 lengths in front of at Galway - although a saddle slip on BB hindered his chance. Neil Mulholland's charge got his big win between those runs though when winning the Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle very nicely off a decent mark of 142. Starts the season off 151 but showed plenty of times last season that he can win good races and is better than a handicapper.

8. Shallwehaveonemore - Gary Moore

Nicky Henderson has recently named Walking On Air as a novice hurdler to follow this season, so it’s worth taking note of Shallwehaveonemore who beat him comfortably on both horse's debuts and only run dates back to March. Running in the Steven Packham Goshen silks, who boasts a 50% win rate with his three jump horses to date and bought for a bargain €7,000.

9. Shan Blue - Dan Skelton 

Shan Blue won his novice chase at Kempton on King George day in a faster time than the King George itself and has form figures of 1112 over three miles. I’ve added him in to this for the reason I think he will be hugely over priced for the King George VI Chase and he is better than he showed at the end of last season when having a very hard race in the Marsh, when kicking for home a long way out and finishing very tired. He finished 2nd in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree after, but the exertions of the Marsh run were evident and a fresher Shan Blue at Kempton on Boxing Day makes plenty of appeal

10. Sporting Ace - Neil King 

I can guarantee you will see Grangeclare West in plenty of horses to follow lists this season after fetching a mammoth price tag at auction for Cheveley Park and Willie Mullins. He then went on to easily win his bumper debut at Punchestown, but he had a good race in his point-to-point against Sporting Ace who pushed him all the way before going down by four lengths. Sporting Ace was then bought by the owners of The Knot Is Tied (Ken Lawrence and Roy Mousley) and put in the care of Neil King. The team also interestingly splashed out on another at the sales in Ballyhawkish who may also be worth a look after selling for £88,000. 

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