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40 Jumps Horses To Follow (Part 1)

  • Part one of our 40 National Hunt horses to follow during the 2021/22 season
  • The first part of our series features ten top prospects from across various yards in Britain and Ireland
  • Bravemansgame, Bob Olinger and Dysart Dynamo will be gunning for Grade Ones this season
  • Alaphilippe, Dock Road and Eklat De Rire also feature in part one
Bob Olinger
Bob Olinger (left), Bravemansgame (centre) and Bear Ghylls (third left) all feature in part one of our Horses To Follow series. (Getty)

Before the 2021/22 National Hunt season gets underway, we’ve picked out 40 horses to add to your tracker. These horses come from various yards from across Britain and Ireland, and range from promising youngsters to more established names who look set to shine during the upcoming campaign.

Part one of our Horses To Follow series features ten talented horses who look set for fruitful campaigns in 2021/22. Here are the first ten names to add to your tracker.
Other 40 To Follow Articles

Part 2 (F - I) READ HERE
Part 3 (M - R) READ HERE
Part 4 (S - Z) READ HERE
    Table Of Contents
  • 40 To Follow – Part One
  • Alaphilippe (Fergal O’Brien)
  • Allavina (Olly Murphy)
  • Autonomous Cloud (Joe Tizzard)
  • Bear Ghylls (Nicky Martin)
  • Benaud (Joseph O’Brien)
  • Bravemansgame (Paul Nicholls)
  • Bob Olinger (Henry De Bromhead)
  • Dock Road (Ben Pauling)
  • Dysart Dynamo (Willie Mullins)
  • Eklat De Rire (Henry De Bromhead)

40 To Follow – Part One

Bob Olinger2022 Marsh Novices' Chase GET 4/1 HERE
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Alaphilippe (Fergal O’Brien)

Fergal O’Brien looks set for another fantastic season and ALAPHILIPPE could be a real flag-bearer for the yard during the upcoming campaign. O’Brien’s seven-year-old enjoyed a productive novice campaign over hurdles last season, winning four of his first six starts, including a powerful 14-length triumph in the Grade Two Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock. 

Alaphilippe rounded off his campaign with a run in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and, although he was out the back for much of the race and wandered around under pressure, Paddy Brennan’s mount stayed on to claim a very creditable fifth.

Despite his imposing stature and plenty of experience in the point-to-point field, I hear the plan is for Alaphilippe to remain over hurdles this season. With the stayer’s hurdle division looking fairly open, this looks like a smart move and Alaphilippe could progress into a Grade One-quality stayer over the next ten months – especially on bottomless ground.

Allavina (Olly Murphy)

ALLAVINA impressed on a number of occasions during her novice hurdles campaign last term. Olly Murphy’s mare bolted up under a penalty at Taunton in February, and bounced back from a poor performance in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle to register another impressive victory at Perth in the spring.

The program for mares, both over hurdles and fences, has been strengthened greatly over the last couple of seasons. Whether Allavina stays over hurdles or goes novice chasing in 2021/22, I’m confident there’s plenty more progression left in this likable mare’s locker.

Autonomous Cloud (Joe Tizzard)

When AUTONOMOUS CLOUD made his bumper debut at Exeter last season, I was immediately taken by the sheer size and scope of this Flemensfirth gelding. Joe Tizzard’s newcomer gave Robbie Power a tough ride, running very green and novicey throughout, but still managed to get the job done and seal a two-length victory.

Autonomous Cloud struggled on his final outing of the season at Listed level, where he again looked like a big baby of a horse. Although this five-year-old is definitely a chaser in the making, I see no reason why he can’t pick up some decent prizes over hurdles this season – providing he’s strengthened and matured over the summer.

Bear Ghylls (Nicky Martin)

A 19-length winner of a bumper in the spring of 2020, BEAR GHYLLS wasted little time making his mark over hurdles last season. Nicky Martin’s star won on debut at Lingfield, beat several classy rivals at Ffos Las second time out, and then landed a hat-trick under a double-penalty at Exeter in January. 

Despite all his successes, Bear Ghylls’ jumping had been patchy to say the least, but that didn’t stop Martin throwing his youngster into the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Again, Matt Griffiths’ mount jumped fairly poorly throughout that Grade One, but displayed a tremendous attitude to cross the line just 12 lengths behind Bob Olinger in fourth.

Bear Ghylls will now go novice chasing, and switching to the larger obstacles could be the making of this talented horse. At his best when there’s a decent amount of cut in the ground, I can see this six-year-old stepping up to three miles before the season is out.

Benaud (Joseph O’Brien)

Named in honour of the late, great Richie Benaud, a famous Australian cricketer and commentator, BENAUD ran five times on the flat for Joseph O’Brien during the 2020 flat racing season. Following a winter gelding operation, this son of Australia returned to action this summer with an impressive win at Naas, and caught the eye when staying on from the rear to place fourth in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

Five days prior to that Grade Two outing, Benaud was snapped up by JP McManus with the intention – we all presume – of going over jumps in the not-so-distant future. This strapping three-year-old certainly has the scope to handle a hurdle and he will certainly relish winter ground. Benaud could be a name to follow in the juvenile ranks this season.

Allavina is a mare to follow for Olly Murphy this season. (Getty)

Bravemansgame (Paul Nicholls)

Paul Nicholls will have been delighted with the consistency BRAVEMANSGAME showed during his novice hurdles campaign. Harry Cobden’s mount won three times, completing his winning streak with an impressive triumph over the talented Star Gate in the Grade One Challow Hurdle. Bravemansgame then finished third in the Ballymore, before failing to peg back Ahoy Senor in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

Bravemansgame was purchased by John Dance and Bryan Drew as an excellent chasing prospect, so to have achieved so much over the smaller obstacles was a real bonus for connections. With Paul Nicholls’ expert guidance, I’m banking on Bravemansgame taking the chasing scene by storm during the 2021/22 season.

Bob Olinger (Henry De Bromhead)

Both Bravemansgame and Bear Ghylls were no match for BOB OLINGER, when they clashed with Henry De Bromhead’s star in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle. Rachel Blackmore’s mount went into Cheltenham as the hot-favourite, following a superb Grade One victory at Naas, and Bob Olinger didn’t disappoint the travelling Irish fans, powering up Cleeve Hill to win the Ballymore by seven lengths.

I expect De Bromhead will point his budding star straight at a fence when he returns to the track this autumn. I’ve already backed Bob Olinger to win the 2022 Marsh Novices’ Chase and I won’t be quick to side against him wherever he turns up. Bob Olinger is the real deal.

Dock Road (Ben Pauling)

Having endured a torrid couple of seasons, I hope to see Ben Pauling have a successful campaign this term. One the best prospects in his stable at the moment is DOCK ROAD, who only appeared twice during his novice hurdles season. The JP McManus-owned five-year-old was narrowly beaten by a classy, experienced horse in Ranch Hand on his career debut at Exeter, before outbattling a three-time winner in Karl Philippe to score on heavy ground second time out.

I’m sure Pauling will send this talented son of Shirocco chasing at some point. However, given he’s raced just twice during his entire career, I’m expecting Dock Road to remain over hurdles next season and he can certainly land a handicap or two off his current mark of 122.

Dysart Dynamo2022 Ballymore Novices' HurdleGET 25/1 HERE
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Dysart Dynamo (Willie Mullins)

The first Willie Mullins horse to appear on this list, DYSART DYNAMO made a winning bumper debut at Clonmel back in March. Patrick Mullins’ mount was very keen on the outside of the pack throughout his second outing at Punchestown, but still proceeded to surge clear once they turned for home and win that winner’s bumper by a good seven lengths.

I’m expecting Dysart Dynamo to take to hurdling like a duck to water. He’s certainly built to jump obstacles and proved during the spring that he could handle decent ground. I doubt whether he will be kept over two miles, but I thought that about Appreciate It last season too, and he ended up winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. While it’s very hard to second-guess anything Willie Mullins does, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dysart Dynamo pitch up at Cheltenham next year as the favourite for the Ballymore.

Eklat De Rire (Henry De Bromhead)

Henry De Bromhead boasts an embarrassment of riches in the staying chasing division, with Minella Indo, A Plus Tard and Envoi Allen spearheading his assault on National Hunt racing’s most prestigious prizes. The joker in his pack, however, could turn out to be EKLAT DE RIRE, who’s still only run five times under rules during his brief career.

After just two outings over hurdles, De Bromhead sent Eklat De Rire over fences last season. With Rachel Blackmore in the saddle, this imposing seven-year-old bolted up on his chase debut at Punchestown, before defeating Escaria Ten and Pencilfuloflead to land the Grade Three Novices’ Chase at Naas at the end of January. In the Brown Advisory Chase, Eklat De Rire was stealthily keeping tabs on the erratic Monkfish at the head of the field and looked perfectly placed to strike, only to peck upon landing the third-last fence and Blackmore was flung from the saddle.

De Bromhead will clearly have a plan for Eklat De Rire this season. He could start off in a race like the Troytown Handicap off his current mark of 151. Whatever happens, though, I truly believe Eklat De Rire is a Group One-quality chaser and I hope to see him dining at the top table before this season is out.


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