The National Hunt season is here! 7 horses to keep on your radar this jump season

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  • If you’re as exhilarated about the new jump season kicking off as we are, you will be on the hunt for some exciting horses to watch over the next six months. Well, here is a selection of very promising horses — perhaps the next big stars of the game — who need to be on your radar this winter...


    The six-year-old son of It’s Gino enjoyed three wins when trained by the late Richard Woollacott. Now trained by his wife, Kayley, the gelding produced an emotional victory for the Woollacott yard when winning the Grade One Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April.

    Due to the recent dry ground, Lalor hasn’t ben out yet, and Kayley revealed in her recent Betway blog that the horse will be aimed at Cheltenham on Sunday, 18 November.

    “We’re now planning to go to the Racing Post Arkle Trial at Cheltenham. It will be good to give him a sight of the Cheltenham fences, although obviously we would have liked to have got a run into him first,” she wrote.

    “A race like the Arkle in March is an obvious target, although we may decide nearer the time to focus on Aintree — where he’s won for the past two years. He’s a really exciting horse and we can’t wait to get him going over fences.”


    The talented five-year-old mare, by Spanish Moon, is trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland.

    Her total earnings to date have amassed £131,255 and she only started her racing career in April 2017.

    Last season was her first in the Mullins yard, having come over from France where Guillaume Macaire trained her, and impressively she won all of her four starts for the Irish trainer. These wins included the Grade Two Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and the Grade One Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse, both under Paul Townend.

    From six racecourse starts, the Sullivan Bloodstock-owned mare has posted four wins, a second place, and a fall on her debut in France.

    Laurina under Paul Townend. Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

    Verdana Blue

    Another talented mare to keep an eye on this season. The six-year-old daughter of Getaway is trained by the champion trainer, Nicky Henderson, in Lambourn.

    She kicked off her 2018/19 campaign with a win on the all-weather at Chelmsford in September, before Nico de Boinville steered her to victory at Kempton in the Listed Matchbook VIP Hurdle in October. She beat the Paul Nicholls-trained Old Guard decisively by seven lengths.


    Featured in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (1 November), Politologue already has two Grade One and three Grade Two victories tucked under his belt, aged just seven.

    Trained in Ditcheat by Paul Nicholls, the grey gelding’s two Grade One wins came last season; in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and in his final run of the season, the JLT Melling Chase at Aintree.

    He has already won a tidy £454,457 for his connections.

    His owner, John Hales told H&H he bought the gelding “by accident” after the horse won at Auteuil in France.

    “He’s not fulfilled everything yet and we’re aiming him at the King George on Boxing Day,” said John. “He’s the best natural jumper we’ve had. He has pace, power and jumping ability — he’s a tremendous athlete.”

    Politologue on his way to winning under Sam Twiston-Davies. Credit: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

    Presenting Percy

    Last season, the seven-year-old gelding was not out of the top three in his six starts for Irish trainer Patrick Kelly — four of which were winning runs under his regular jockey Davy Russell.

    The son of Sir Percy, who is owned by Philip Reynolds, has won a total of £258,466 in prize money to date.

    His biggest wins last season came in the Grade Two John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, before claiming the Grade One RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.


    Another to emerge from the Willie Mullins yard, the six-year-old son of Creachadoir won all of his five starts last season for his on-fire owners, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

    He justified favouritism in all five of those runs — four of which were Grade Ones — and has amassed a tidy pot of £583,359 for connections.

    This side of the Irish Sea, Footpad won the Grade One Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase under Ruby Walsh at the Festival in March.

    Footpad and Ruby Walsh win the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Festival. Credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


    The five-year-old son of Kalanisi, who is trained by young handler Amy Murphy, impressively has not been outside the top two in any of his six career starts — a pretty flawless form to date.

    Under his regular jockey Jack Quinlan, the gelding enjoyed his best wins last season in the Grade Three Betfair Hurdle, before going on to take Grade One glory in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival.

    He has won a total prize fund of £137,691 for owner Paul Murphy.

    Check out our National Hunt special in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (1 November). For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss the weekly magazine — on sale every Thursday.

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