The MyRacing 5 hurdlers to follow for the National Hunt season

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2018

There’s a plethora of pulsating jumps action coming up in the next few weeks. MyRacing are here to give you five hurdlers to follow for the National Hunt season that lies ahead.

MyRacing’s Adrian Wall highlights five exciting hurdlers to keep an eye on in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival.

1. Appreciate It – Willie Mullins

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle market will be hotting up early on in the season and it might pay to take the 14/1 about this runner ante-post. A wide-margin winner of a pair of bumpers at Leopardstown last term, he was sent off the 15/8 favourite for the Cheltenham Bumper in March. He was beat fair and square by stablemate Ferny Hollow on that occasion. Nonetheless, we should see huge improvement from this boy once he sees a hurdle. He should have some big days ahead and will appreciate a step up in trip.

2. Saint Roi – Willie Mullins

Owner JP McManus has farmed the Champion Hurdle in recent times and although Epatante heads the market, it may well be this boy who goes on to win the race in March. A hugely impressive winner of the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, he returned with a smooth success in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Hurdle at Tipperary. The five-year-old is very lightly-raced and he could be absolutely anything.

3. McFabulous – Paul Nicholls

Paul touted this horse to eventually be a Stayers’ Hurdle contender after his emphatic win at Kempton in March. He returned to action this term with a mightily impressive success in the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle. Issues with his jumping seem to have been ironed out as he was foot-perfect on that occasion. He now looks like a rock solid contender for the Grade 1 for stayers in March. It would be no shock if he went off favourite on the day.

4. Princess Zoe – Anthony Mullins

The Mares’ Novice Hurdle has been the longterm plan for this hugely progressive mare. Not too long ago she was rated just 64 but she now has a rating of 109, a mark 45lb higher! It was a fairytale for jockey Joey Sheridan who rode her to victory in the Group 1 Prix Du Cadran at Longchamp. Credit must go to her trainer Anthony Mullins who has a small operation but is clearly a brilliant trainer. If he gets her to Cheltenham in one piece, she will take all the beating.

5. Blackjack Boy – Eric McNamara

I did an interview recently with Ray Hogan who returned to the saddle after a 15-year hiatus. In that interview, I asked him for a horse to watch out for this coming season. He might not be seen at Cheltenham in March but he will win a few races in the winter according to Ray. An impressive winner of a handicap at Listowel in September, he has very low mileage on the clock. He was disappointing at Kilbeggan on his latest start but the yard will have some good days to look forward to with this boy.

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