The build-up to the return of the jumps continues, with several meetings in October to look forward to.
National Hunt action returns to Cheltenham with the Showcase meeting, while Aintree hosts its Countryside Day with the Old Roan Chase featuring on the eight-race card.
Our team have taken a look through the antepost markets and have picked our four runners for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival to consider as the National Hunt season progresses.
Here is our antepost Lucky 15 for next year’s Cheltenham Festival.
MY DROGO – Marsh Novices’ Chase (8/1 – Various)
A seriously promising sort hailing from Dan Skelton’s yard, My Drogo could become a force to reckon with over fences next season.
The six-year-old impressed over the smaller obstacles last term, winning all four of his starts over hurdles including the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
He obliterated his rivals in the 2m4f contest at Aintree, clearing away in the closing stages to win by nine and a half lengths.
The distance of the Marsh looks tailor-made for My Drogo, with his price of 8/1 looking interesting at this stage.
ENERGUMENE – Champion Chase (5/1 – Various)
A very exciting two-miler from Willie Mullins’ yard, Energumene has some unfinished business with the Cheltenham Festival.
The seven-year-old missed out on a tasty clash with Shishkin after he was found to be lame in the days building up to the four-day meeting.
The gelding returned in April, easing past his rivals to win the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase by 16 lengths at Punchestown.
He is seriously talented and his price of 5/1 is major value at this stage.
SAINT CALVADOS – Ryanair Chase (20/1 – Various)
Now under the guidance of Paul Nicholls, Saint Calvados could be aimed for the Ryanair following his campaign over three miles last term.
The eight-year-old outran his odds of 16/1 when finishing a neck second in the 2020 edition of the contest for Harry Whittington.
The gelding ran a cracker to finish fourth in the King George, but he was unable to follow up that effort after unseating his rider in the Cotswold Chase back in February.
It wouldn’t be a huge shock if he returned to the two and a half mile trip, with his 20/1 price tag holding some interest.
MOUNT IDA – Mares’ Chase (12/1 – Various)
Mount Ida produced an almighty comeback in the Kim Muir last season, and she could strike again at the Cheltenham Festival next season.
The mare lingered at the back of the pack for the majority of the contest before a superb late ride from Jack Kennedy launched the seven-year-old into gear, flying home to win by six lengths.
She finished a respectable third on her last outing for her connections, taking home some place money in the Listed Mares’ Chase at Fairyhouse.
The seven-year-old has been competitive over 2m4f and she could well be aimed for the Mares’ Chase, with her 12/1 price tag possessing some interest at this point.