5 Horses Worth Following In The 2022/23 Jumps Season
The winter horses are back in training after a long, hot summer and excitement is building for the 2022/23 National Hunt season.
With Chepstow and Down Royal on the horizon, it’s now time to study up and get the best jumps horses in the tracker ahead of what should be an exciting winter.
We’ve had a look at five horses who are worth following in the upcoming campaign, with a view to backing a winner or two at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
Purchased by Robcour and now in training with Gordon Elliott, Irish Point is one of my top prospects for the 2022/23 jumps season.
He won the Grade 1 Prix Jacques de Vienne in November 2021 and has spent the best part of a year at Cullentra House, giving him time to adapt to his new surroundings. The form of that French success is working out well, with the second going on to win by nine lengths on hurdles debut. My advice would be to keep a close eye on that race…
Irish Point has the connections but will it all come together on the racecourse? Admittedly, he’s a bit of a longshot at this stage but it could prove fruitful to follow him this season.
Thedevilscoachman has been campaigned exclusively in Ireland since making his debut at Naas in January 2020 but I’m not sure that has been entirely by design. He went novice chasing last season but reverted to hurdles after two runs, stepping up to 2m5f for the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan. He clinched a cosy success in that race and the form worked out well, with the two horses in behind, Ashdale Bob and Commander of Fleet, finishing third and first in the Coral Cup.
I’d like to see Thedevilscoachman stay over hurdles this season. He relished going up in trip and Noel Meade may have the Stayers Hurdle pencilled in as a possible spring target.
Best price for the 2023 Stayers Hurdle: 33/1 with Bet365.
A daughter of popular sire Walk In The Park, Between Waters was supremely impressive in her P2P win at Lisronagh in February 2022, finishing eight lengths clear of her rivals. Now owned by Doreen Tabor and in training with Nicky Henderson, we are likely to see the 4-year-old go straight over hurdles rather than spending a year in bumpers. According to reports, Between Waters has been working extremely well at home and the plan is to embark upon an aggressive novice hurdling campaign.
Assuming she lives up to the hype and everything goes to plan, Henderson may have a live contender in the Mares Novice Hurdle come March.
Mighty Potter won the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival and connections will be hoping that he can take another step forward when he goes chasing. He never looked comfortable in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Jack Kennedy did the right thing by pulling him up and saving him for another day.
Gordon Elliott has marked the 2m3½f beginners chase at Down Royal as the starting point for Mighty Potter – a race won by the likes of Samcro and Envoi Allen in the past. Both of those went on to run in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, now known as the Turners Novices’ Chase, at the Festival and that could also be Mighty Potter’s main target.
Best price for the Turners Novices’ Chase: 14/1 with Paddy Power.
An out-of-the-box pick, Icare D’Aubrelle caught the eye in February 2022 after his dominant performance in a competitive-looking bumper at Naas. Like Irish Point, I won’t be choosing a specific target for this horse ahead of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Firstly, we’ve not seen him since February and the Tom Cooper yard have kept their cards close to their chest. But also, Icare D’Aubrelle is by Saint Des Saints – a horse whose progeny tend to fare better once they go chasing.
However, I believe this lad has the talent to thrive novice hurdling. I’d imagine he will start over the minimum trip before going up if he wins his maiden. A mid-season target like the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas in January could be right up his street.
Follow @RoadCheltenham for the latest Cheltenham Festival news, tips and antepost updates in the build-up to the 2023 meeting.
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