A Guide to the Jump Horses To Follow in 2020/21

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A Guide to the Jump Horses To Follow in 2020/21

And just like that, we’re nearly back into jump race season. If you’re a relative newcomer to the world of horse racing, we’ll break it down for you: jump racing (otherwise known as National Hunt racing) is when the race includes, you guessed it, jumps. Think of the Grand National as the most famous jump race in the world. Flat racing is the opposite: it’s all about speed.

We transition into jump races in Autumn and they run all through Winter, with the end of the season coming at the end of April. It’s not overly important, but we should mention that there are jump races during the flat season (which runs from May to October) and vice versa. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but there are specific and official “seasons.” The vast majority of jump races occur during the colder months because the ground is wetter (and thus softer), so it’s better for the horses.

People usually have a preference for one or the other, but it’s not as if people who prefer flat racing go into hibernation all Winter. They’ll get involved too.

With the arrival of Autumn, we’re about to embark on the new jump race season. So what can we expect? Plenty of great races, to begin with, especially since there are so many excellent horses out there who will be confident of having a strong season. In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the key horses you’ll want to follow through the season and the races they may fare well in.

jump horses to follow

Copperhead

There are always horses who show potential only to have an injury and fade away. There was a chance that this could have been Copperhead’s narrative after his fall at Cheltenham, but thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Since then, he’s enjoyed some intense rest and recuperation and then went to school to get back to his best and be better than he was. Despite the fall, there’s a lot of quiet hype around this horse, who has already shown that he’s a good jumper. He will surely be in contention in a couple of races, as you might expect from a future National horse.

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Topofthegame

There’s always been a lot of hype about Topofthegame, but unfortunately, a leg injury curtailed his progress; he ended up missing the entirety of last season due to the problem. While many horses fail to return to their full potential after an injury, there’s hope that his trainers caught the leg issue in time. His return is likely to come at Newbury on November 30. Given his previously strong performances (he won the RSA Chase in 2019), don’t be surprised if he’s touted by experts that provide horse racing tips to perform well in that race and over the next few months.

Fiddlerontheroof

There’s a sea of famous horses out there, but sometimes it’s good to keep an eye on the novices. These are the horses who could be future stars, after all, and in any case, everyone’s eyes are already on the favourites. A well-performing novice is what we like to see! And Fiddlerontheroof is a horse that should perform well. His trainers have been talking up his potential since they first saw how he handled fences (hint: he did well). A chaser horse, the benefit of a long summer break, and a spurt in strength will see him do well in 2.5-mile races.

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Lostintranslation

Moving away from noises, let’s think about the horses who performed well last season and who we may expect to go even further this time around. He was right in the mix with the champions at some of the biggest races, including the much-coveted Gold Cup. Basically, any race that he’s in, you can be sure that he’s going to be in contention unless something goes wrong. There are some horses who are tested in the field to see what they’re capable of, but Lostintranslation has moved beyond that now. He’s shown that he’s a horse with a lot of power who belongs at the very top.

Thyme Hill

Thyme Hill hasn’t always had the most fortune when he’s out on the track, but thankfully, bad luck runs out. Thyme Hill has proven that he’s a horse that belongs at the very top, no one doubts it, but at some stage or another you have to walk the walk. This coming season could be the year where he really breaks out and puts himself into the “top-class horse” bracket. He had an excellent season last time around, winning three races and very nearly taking a fourth. He’ll be up there among the favourites for the Stayers’ Hurdle.

jump horses

Captain Chaos

Captain Chaos is another horse who will likely pick up a win or two during the season. He’s nine years old and won the Grimthorpe Chase last year, so he knows how to win. In fact, it wasn’t even a close race at Doncaster. If his trainers can put him forward for the right races and manage his rest periods well then he’ll have another good season.

Walkinthemill

Any horse that seems as if they’ll perform well in the Grand National is going to have a good jump season. That race is as big as it gets, after all. Walkinthemill performed exceptionally well in the Becher Chase, where he won two in a row and even finished fourth in the 2019 Grand National. He’s eleven now, which is something of a negative point, but he’ll still be lively enough to win at times.

Of course, this is only a selection of the horses who you’ll want to keep an eye on. One of the exciting things about jump season is that there is always a horse or two who takes everyone by surprise, including the trainers (though they’ll often deny it afterward). The best approach is to sit back and catch as many of the big races as possible. If there’s one thing about jump season, it’s that it never disappoints!

 

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email: sashton@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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