Pick ten horses and win thousands of pounds – it sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?
Each year The Racing Post’s ten-to-follow competition starts just
before the Cheltenham Open Meeting (this weekend) and finishes after the
Grand National in April. The horses, in your fantasy stable, gather points
throughout the season and there are bonus points for winning the major races.
Points mean prizes and there will be at least £400,000 up for grabs.
once made an entry which reached the top 100, in December 2011, I consider
myself a bit of an expert. Yes – that’s the closest I’ve come to winning a
prize and no, by the end of the season the same entry wasn’t even in the top
10,000. Anyway… it’s the taking part that counts. Here are my ten for the 2013
/ 14 jumps season.
Fishers Cross. He’s the young pretender to the World Hurdle crown, won last
year by Solwhit in the absence of the legendary Big Bucks. He’ll have the
assistance on Tony McCoy in the saddle.
There are bonus points for winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup this Saturday, in which
Attaglance sneaks in on 10 stone. His jumping needs to improve, but even if he
fails to pick up this valuable prize, he looks well handicapped for a
profitable season ahead.
Chris. Trained by Philip Hobbs, he is sure to be aimed at the King George VI
Chase in which he has previously finished third and second. I think that those at the head of the betting market have plenty of questions to answer and he has an outstanding chance this year. He could well pop up
again in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Squadron. Another trained by Philip Hobbs, Colour Squadron is still classed as a novice over fences and could clock up a lengthy
sequence of wins. However, he's also engaged in Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him earn bonus points.
Lieutenant. Owned by the head of Ryanair, this horse missed the Gold Cup last
year in favour of the Ryanair sponsored 2½ mile chase. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is this
horse’s destiny - expect him to come to the fore in the Spring.
Like At Fishers Cross and Colour Squadron, Jezki is owned by J.P. McManus, famed
for his massive tilts at the betting ring. Jezki will pick up several of
Ireland’s top hurdle races before heading to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle
Windermere. Yes, he is in the list because of his name! But the Jim Culloty trained chaser also won the RSA Novice's Chase last season
and is being aimed at the Hennessy Gold Cup at the end of this month. He could be another for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Tent Or Yours. Yet another gelding owned by JP McManus; like Jezki he’ll be
bound for the Champion Hurdle, but the difference is that he’s trained in
England – so he can pick up a few of the trial races on this side of the Irish
Channel before then.
Sacre. If you forget all the others, make a note of this horse’s name. Pegasus
in disguise, his trainer nick-named him the “black aeroplane”, and he is the
best two-mile chaser of this decade and probably any other decade. Tune in to Channel 4 Racing or RacingUK
every time he runs and watch him fly!
New One. Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, this is another gelding bound for the Champion Hurdle. He always gives his best and is sure to give you an excellent run for your money.
To make your entry go to: www.racingpost.com/ttf . There are 400 horses in the list to choose from, so you don't have to pick the same horses, although I think you'll find these are the best!