Nick picks out five horses he thinks will be winning races this season
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Trainer: Jack Barber
A prolific winner in the point-to-point game, he won six on the bounce before winning under rules at Wincanton. He then went on to finish seventh in the Hunters’ Chase at Cheltenham on ground that was probably a little slower than ideal. He’s got a mark of 130 and whilst life in handicaps will be different to what he’s used to he should be capable of winning off that kind of mark. His owners have been involved in good horses in the past and there is a race at Exeter on Haldon Gold Cup day which has been earmarked for him and the hope is he could be one for the Welsh National at Chepstow.
Adrien Du Pont
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
He’s a horse I know well having won a Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle on him as a three-year-old. He didn’t manage to get a win last season but his third in Auteuil behind Footpad has been franked since with that one going on to finish fourth in the Champion Hurdle and third at Punchestown. He was always considered a chaser so it was no surprise to see him win with his head in his chest at Fontwell earlier this month. Paul is great with these kind of horses and he’s one I can see putting together a string of 1’s as Paul is the master at placing his horses.
Trainer: Victor Dartnall
Things finally clicked at the end of last season as he won two good staying chases at Doncaster and Musselbrugh. He never really travelled in the Scottish National last time out but a few reasons came to light since. There is a hurdle race at Kelso coming up which he will need but hopefully we’ve managed to work out what makes him tick. I definitely think he’s well enough handicapped to win a big long distance handicap this season.
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Like you all, I’m a racing fan at heart and it’s hard not to be excited about seeing Altior in action again this season. He’s such an impressive animal, beautiful looking and with a trainer who knows exactly how to handle these superstars. He’s already being compared to another Henderson legend in Sprinter Sacre and from what I’ve seen I think he could prove to be even better. I can’t see anything beating him this season and he could easily finish the year with at least another four Grade 1’s to his name.
Trainer: Emma Lavelle
He finished second at Fontwell at the start of the month but he was plenty fresh enough that day so should come on a bundle for that run. He schools really well and knows his job which is what you want from these young horses. He should make a nice novice and I definitely believe he’s up to winning a novice hurdle or two this season.
As for this week, I'm at Chepstow tomorrow on a nice novice called Bolving in the first race. He needs to brush up on his jumping based on his first start over hurdles but when he does that he will be winning races (hopefully that's tomorrow!) I've also got a ride on a nice horse for Jack Barber on Thursday at Stratford called King Calvin who is a winning pointer so looking forward to that ride too.