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The nights are drawing in and the wraps are starting to come off some of the best jumps horses across both sides of the Irish Sea. Not yet excited for the changing of codes? These five points will either help get you buzzing or increase those excitement levels to fever pitch…

Tiger Roll Gets His Chance To Make History

Last season saw the Covid outbreak rob many sports of many big moments. Tiger Roll heading in search of a third Grand National was arguably one of the biggest stories that could have been made. This season all roads will lead back to another crack at Aintree. He may be another year older but the ten year old rising eleven has defied logic before carrying his small frame over some of the biggest challenges racing has to offer.

The Cheltenham Countdown

Whatever the build up to the Festival looks like you can rest assured it won’t stop us talking about it for weeks and months beforehand. For all some suggest ante post value is hard to find many still enjoy the challenge of seeking a price about a horse months out before the big day to see it trimmed shorter and shorter as the form works out and your selection go well in races prior to March.

Reacquainting With Old Friends, Season In Season Out

One of the criticisms levelled at the Flat is that our chance to gain a long standing attachment to a horse is complicated by the understandable desire of owners to get horses to the breeding shed. The love for Enable from the racing public is a fine example that bucked that trend recent. For me one of the most enjoyable aspects of the jumps game is following horses from a young age in bumpers and watching them progress to greatness over hurdles and fences. The best example from last season is quite an obvious one but anyone my age who loves racing will hold Sprinter Sacre in high regard. It was a really special moment to see his striking brother Flinteur Sacre in the flesh last season on debut at Newbury. He finished second that day before improving to win at Kempton. I am not suggesting he is some big secret or dark horse to follow but a great example of the journey you can start out when following a National Hunt horse.

Big Name Battles

Be it Willie Mullins v Gordon Elliott in Ireland for the trainers title, Brian Hughes trying to defend his Champion Jockey crown or any other big clash the jumps season provides us with brilliant drama at feature meetings each weekend. Paul Nicholls is a model of consistency with his big race Saturdays and punters love to follow his horses. Days like the Badger Ales where he has multiple winners across cards are what we come to expect from the man who is relentless in his pursuit of being number one. His duel with Nicky Henderson this coming season should be another blockbuster effort from the pair of previous champions.

The Pure Drama of Jumps Racing

Be it Annie Power falling at the last with the race at her mercy, or  33/1 shot Western Warhorse beating hot favourite Champagne Fever in an Arkle jumps, jumps racing is unrivalled for drama and heart in your mouth moments. The best example I can give is the day Sea The World won for Aidan Coleman at Wincanton. The horse was making his debut and for the majority of the race he looked to be in with no chance until staying on to win the race close home. Amazingly, that to date is his only ever win but boy was it a memorable one.


Odds are correct at the time of posting

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