10 rising stars to follow this season in the lead up to the Cheltenham Festival 🌟

The Jumps season is upon us at long last. Those of us who have been impatiently waiting for October to arrive need wait no longer. Now is the perfect time to look at which young horses have the potential to bloom into superstars. Liam Bramall has picked out 10 exciting prospects who are likely to have their novice hurdle and chase campaigns this season. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.

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American Mike

Gordon Elliott’s gelding has perhaps gone under the radar since being defeated by Facile Vega. It would be dangerous to forget the large amount of potential he retains. He obliterated the field in a Listed bumper at Navan in his final start before Cheltenham. A huge stamp of a horse, he’s made for obstacles and is undoubtedly a future chaser. That being said, he should be a top level novice hurdler.


Blazing Khal

Hasn’t been seen since defeating Gelino Bello for a second time at Cheltenham back in December. That was a particularly impressive effort over three miles and he should make a smart staying chaser. It’s hard to know when we’ll see him again after a lengthy lay-off but he’s a smashing prospect and one to be excited about. Could be a forgotten horse going into the new season.


Classic Getaway

Absolutely made for fences and should respect them a lot more than he does his hurdles. Last season was a learning curve for him and he was far too keen for his own good when pulling up in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham. Perhaps it’s taking this £570,000 purchase a while to reach his potential but we should see a smarter horse this season.


Facile Vega

Having won the Grade 1 bumpers at both Cheltenham and Punchestown, it’s a surprise to no one that he makes this list. A son of the awesome Quevega, he’ll be fully expected to be at the top of the pile in the novice hurdle ranks this season.


Gelino Bello

Bucked a rather worrying trend for the champion trainer by winning the Grade 1 three-mile novice at Aintree in the Spring. He won in good style and is expected to thrive over fences as Paul Nicholls’ horses tend to do. Should be a smart prospect for top novice chases between 2m4f and three miles this year.


Hermes Allen

An expensive purchase at £350,000, he looks capable of justifying that price tag on the evidence of his impressive hurdles debut at Stratford. Many in the Nicholls yard are needing their first runs which makes his 22-length demolition job even more impressive. It’s unlikely that he beat much but could hardly have been more impressive and the best is yet to come.


Jonbon

If it wasn’t for Constitution Hill, this lad would be a champion novice in his own right. With his stablemate likely to go down the Champion Hurdle route, the path is now open for him to reach the top in his novice chase campaign. Nicky Henderson has expressed the desire to keep him at two miles which is a shame but he’ll certainly make his presence felt.


Quid Pro Quo

Disappointed in the Persian War at Chepstow when favourite. Can be forgiven for that as it was his first start of the season and may have needed the run. A massive and visually striking specimen, chasing was always going to be his game and he has the potential to go far in some of the top novice chases.


The Nice Guy

Shows his trainer nothing at home but is a champion on the racecourse. Won both three-mile Grade 1s at Cheltenham and Punchestown. This lad has proper national hunt breeding and should be at the top of the market for both the Brown Advisory and the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. Still lightly raced and has scope for further progression.


Walking On Air

You can draw a line through his run at Aintree in the spring. After missing his intended target at Cheltenham due to a set-back, his preparation would have been far from ideal. Out of the terrific mare Refinement, he retains plenty of potential for this season and should make a smashing novice chaser. We should see a better horse this year with a bit of luck.


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