Tote Ten to Follow: Matt Newman reveals myracing’s dream team

The National Hunt season is really kicking it up a notch with the Cheltenham November meeting this weekend. Saturday the 13th November is the closing date of the Tote 10 to follow competition. It’s time for myracing to look over the runners and select our team.


1 – Honeysuckle – Henry de Bromhead

Yet to taste defeat in twelve starts, she led the way last season in terms of point scoring. Two bonus races were landed with both the English and Irish Champion Hurdle bringing plenty of points to the table. Looks set to take a similar route back to Cheltenham.


2 – Shishkin – Nicky Henderson

A fall at Newbury on his hurdling debut is the sole blemish in his career under rules so far, winning all of his other starts. In a division that looks to lack much depth at present, he looks a cornerstone of any team with the strong possibility that he will go unbeaten through the season again.


3 – A Plus Tard – Henry de Bromhead

From the Betfair Chase in November through to the Betway Bowl in April, there are six bonus races for the three-mile, Grade 1 chase division. He proved his stamina in the Gold Cup last season having landed the Savills over Christmas at Leopardstown. Henry de Bromhead’s seven-year-old has the potential for better to come and looks set for another superb campaign


4 – Allaho – Willie Mullins

A spectacular winner of the Ryanair Chase in March, he looks the perfect type for the King George this time around before a return to the Cheltenham Festival. Mullins has been experimenting with trips but a stiff two and a half or easy three looks his ideal.


5 – Thyme Hill – Phillip Hobbs

The Philip Hobbs-trained stayer is at the top of the tree in his division and is taken to make up for the disappointment of missing the Cheltenham Festival last season. He was below par on his return at Auteuil but that was a different test for him and is clearly better than that.


6 – Appreciate It – Willie Mullins

In both bumpers and over hurdles, he was given a similar plan of action. Return in late November, Leopardstown both at Christmas and for the Dublin Racing Festival, then on to Cheltenham. Expect the same this season with Willie Mullins not afraid to run his novice chasers.


7 – Bob Ollinger – Henry de Bromhead

Looked a star in the making when winning the Lawlor’s before confirming that impression in the Ballymore. Chasing could see him in an even better light, a scary thought for those who leave him out of their team.


8 – Farouk D’alene – Gordon Elliott

He has not been seen since a Grade 2 win at Limerick at the end of December. He beat Vanillier on that occasion, that form given a shot in the arm when Gavin Cromwell’s charge landed the Albert Bartlett.  Bar a below par run at Navan (nine days after being a non runner as he was off his feed) he has been deeply progressive and looks capable of taking his chance at the top table this season.


9 – Ask Me Early – Harry Fry

Successful in three of his four starts over fences, a kissing spine was to blame at Sandown for his sole defeat. He is yet to go beyond three miles but the visual impression is that he is all about stamina. With two of those wins coming at Chepstow, he looks the perfect type to pick up bonus points in the Welsh National and perhaps later in the year at Aintree.


10 – I Am Maximus – Nicky Henderson

Seen just once in competitive action so far when successful in a Cheltenham bumper, he is currently the only horse to get the better of My Drogo who will be a popular choice in his own right. Of course, form is rarely as basic and linear as that, My Drogo improving massively since finishing runner-up there but it was still a very smart scalp for him to take. He can take high order this season.


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