40 Jumps Horses To Follow (Part 2)
- Part two of our 40 National Hunt horses to follow during the 2021/22 season
- The second part of our series features ten top prospects from across various yards in Britain and Ireland
- Galopin Des Champs, Grangeclare West and I Am Maximus could be battling for Grade Ones this season
- Galvin looks like the ideal candidate for the 2022 Grand National
Galvin gets up to win the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2020. (Getty)
We’ve picked out 40 horses to add to your tracker, ahead of the 2021/22 National Hunt season. 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 two of our Horses To Follow series features ten talented horses who could pick up some tasty prizes in 2021/22. Make sure you add these names to your tracker.
- 40 To Follow – Part Two
- Fable (Nicky Henderson)
- Galopin Des Champs (Willie Mullins)
- Galvin (Gordon Elliott)
- Go Dante (Olly Murphy)
- Grand Paradis (Gordon Elliott)
- Grangeclare West (Willie Mullins)
- Gowel Road (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
- Guardino (Ben Pauling)
- Hometown Boy (Stuart Edmunds)
- I Am Maximus (Nicky Henderson)
Table Of Contents
40 To Follow – Part Two
Fable (Nicky Henderson)
Nicky Henderson has had many good quality mares stationed at Seven Barrows down the years, and FABLE could progress into a high-quality stayer this season. Following a narrow defeat at the hands of the classy Rose Of Arcadia on her stable debut, Fable battled back after being passed by Juniper to open her account at Huntingdon last season. Under a three-pound penalty, Fable then made the running on her first start over three miles at Haydock, surging clear after the last to win by an impressive eight lengths.
Before linking up with Nicky Henderson, this daughter of Coastal Path hacked up in a point-to-point at Oldcastle for Donnchadh Doyle. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if she was sent handicap hurdling, I have no doubt that Fable would take to well to fences and she’s a mare I’ll be following with great interest this season.
Galopin Des Champs (Willie Mullins)
Things didn’t exactly go to plan for GALOPIN DES CHAMPS at the start of last season. Willie Mullins’ recruit was surprisingly beaten on debut, pulled up behind Grand Roi in a Grade Two and could only finish sixth as Appreciate It won the Chanelle Pharma at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Mullins stepped his five-year-old up in distance for the first time at the Cheltenham Festival, and Galopin Des Champs strode clear after the last to win the Martin Pipe by two lengths. Paul Townend’s mount then destroyed two fellow Festival winners on his first start over three miles at Punchestown, where he could even afford to bunny-hop the last and still win his first Grade One by 12 lengths.
Given he’s only five and not the biggest gelding in terms of stature, I could see Mullins keeping Galopin Des Champs over hurdles and he could return to Cheltenham as a key player in next year’s Stayers’ Hurdle. If he does go chasing, then the Brown Advisory Chase would be a natural target.
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Galvin (Gordon Elliott)
Despite being uprooted from Gordon Elliott’s yard in the weeks building up to Cheltenham, GALVIN ran out an impressive winner of the National Hunt Chase. Jack Kennedy’s mount had two top-quality rivals to contend with in the form of Escaria Ten and Next Destination. Of the three, his jumping was the least fluent. Yet, Galvin still had enough in the tank to kick clear after the last and win quite comfortably in the end.
That performance convinced me that Galvin is the ideal type for the Grand National. In a race like the National, where there are 30 unusual fences that have to be scaled, you’re not going to jump them all perfectly. Galvin made a couple of notable errors during his win at Cheltenham, but still had the class and composure to get back on the bridle and he certainly wasn’t showing any signs of wilting in the closing stages. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I expect Gordon Elliott, who Galvin has recently re-joined, has a very light campaign in mind for a horse who clearly prefers decent ground. Off his current mark of 154, Galvin would likely get around 10-11, 10-12 in a Grand National. He’s currently 25/1 in the ante-post betting for the Aintree. I expect he will be much shorter than that come the second Saturday in April.
Go Dante (Olly Murphy)
Olly Murphy has a number of exciting novice hurdlers to go to war with this season and, for me, GO DANTE was the most impressive of his bumper winner’s last term. A £170k purchase at the Irish Derby sales in 2019, Go Dante made an assured start to life under rules at Wincanton in March, surging to victory by 12 lengths having travelled sweetly throughout. The plan was then to run in the Grade Two Bumper at Aintree during their Grand National meeting, but Murphy’s contender had to be withdrawn on the morning of the race.
The horse who stayed on for third behind Go Dante at Wincanton won a bumper on his second start, so that was clearly a decent display by this son of Kayf Tara. I can’t wait to see Go Dante jump a hurdle when he makes his reappearance this autumn.
Grand Paradis (Gordon Elliott)
GRAND PARADIS made a winning debut for Gordon Elliott on Hatton’s Grace day at Fairyhouse last autumn, bolting up in a bumper under Jamie Codd. Following a disappointing fourth on his hurdles debut, where he jumped poorly throughout, this dazzling grey returned to winning ways at Fairyhouse in February, thrashing two future winners by nine lengths.
On his final start of the season, Grand Paradis stormed to a 13-length victory in the Grade Three Michael Purcell. Elliott is expected to send this talented son of Martaline novice chasing when the winter ground sets in and Grand Paradis could be very hard to beat whenever he’s met with his preferred heavy ground.
Grangeclare West (Willie Mullins)
Much has been said of Classic Getaway, a £570k purchase who opened his account for Willie Mullins with a stylish bumper success at Tipperary in May. I, however, am more interested in stablemate GRANGECLARE WEST, another expensive buy for Cheveley Park who was equally as impressive when making a winning debut account under rules at Punchestown back in May.
Jodie Townend sat motionless as Grangeclare West motored to a nine-length victory that day, and the second and third placed horses have come out and won bumpers since. I’m sure this strapping son of Presenting will take to jumping well and he could be a lively contender in either the Ballymore or the Albert Bartlett come the spring.
Gowel Road (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
Having stayed on from the rear to place on his first two starts over hurdles, GOWEL ROAD was ridden more prominently on his handicap debut at Newbury in January. Sam Twiston-Davies’ mount ran out a five-length winner that day and followed up with an equally emphatic victory when dropped back into novice company on his penultimate start of the campaign.
Gowel Road was then fancied for the County Hurdle, but a mistake at the fourth flight put Sam’s mount on the back foot, after which they were swallowed up and spat out by the chasing pack. I’m hoping this talented hurdler has grown and strengthened during the summer, as he looked a little light in his frame at Cheltenham. If he has, then Gowel Road could leave a mark of 136 well behind during his second season over hurdles.
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Guardino (Ben Pauling)
GUARDINO made his bumper debut for Ben Pauling at Carlisle last November. Nico De Boinville’s mount was very keen that day and faded from the front to eventually finish third. It turns out Guardino burst blood vessels during that defeat and didn’t appear again until the card-closing bumper on Adonis Hurdle day at Kempton in February. Again, De Boinville’s mount ran keen early, but quickened up nicely turning in to establish a lead and held on gamely under pressure to score.
The runner-up at Kempton has since boosted that form with victory on his hurdles debut, so Guardino’s winning effort has to be commended. This speedy five-year-old is beautifully bred and I expect he will make his mark in two mile novice hurdles races once he returns to action.
Hometown Boy (Stuart Edmunds)
An impressive winner of an Irish point-to-point in March 2019, HOMETOWN BOY ran six times over hurdles the following season, winning once and placing on five of the other occasions. An interrupted autumn meant Stuart Edmunds’ star wasn’t seen again until Adonis day at Kempton in February, where Hometown Boy immediately made up for lost time by winning an ultra-competitive handicap hurdle off 130.
Ciaran Gething’s mount was then backed into favouritism for the three-mile handicap hurdle on Grand National day and looked to have victory sewn up approaching the last. Hometown Boy made a shuddering error, almost unseating his rider, but picked up again when pressed by challengers and ran out a three-length victory. Now rated 146, I expect Edmund’s will send this scopey six-year-old novice chasing when he returns, and I’m sure he’ll be more fluent over the larger obstacles.
I Am Maximus (Nicky Henderson)
My Drogo, who may appear in the next installment of this series, was beaten on his bumper debut at Cheltenham last October. The impressive winner that day was I AM MAXIMUS, who responded well for pressure coming down the hill to win by almost two lengths.
Nicky Henderson’s budding star then picked up a winter sickness bug and was scratched for the rest of the season. Considering how well the form of his bumper has worked out, and the fact he’s beautifully bred – by Authorized and out of a Poligate mare – I Am Maximus could progress quickly over hurdles this season. He could even be Nicky Henderson’s Supreme horse when the 2022 Cheltenham Festival rolls around.