With the upcoming National Hunt season fast approaching, our team have been making their preparations for the return of the jumps.
The team have taken a look at the calendar and have made their brave shouts on all aspects of the National Hunt season.
Here are the first three bold predictions the team have made.
Royale Pagaille could land success in the King George – if we have a wet winter
Connections of Royale Pagaille decided to take a chance on the Gold Cup this season, but the dream crumbled midway through with the gelding finishing 49 lengths behind the winner in sixth.
The seven-year-old was found to be lame and had also lost two shoes, with the better ground seeming to take its toll on Venetia Williams’ recruit.
He proved to be a mud lover over the winter months, thundering clear at Kempton and Haydock on soft and heavy ground before making the trip to Cheltenham.
The gelding holds C&D form if he was to be targeted for the King George, and he would be right at home if the heavens opened during the festive season.
Royale Pagaille’s price of 25/1 (bet365) for the Grade 1 contest is a bold selection at this point, but it could prove to be huge value should he bounce back to form early on in the season.
Galvin looks a serious contender for the Cross County Chase
After being switched to Ian Ferguson’s yard on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival, Galvin stormed home in the National Hunt Chase only days later for his new trainer.
The seven-year-old had been favourite for the contest all throughout the winter and it was only on the day that he drifted in the market, with both Next Destination and Escaria Ten gaining market support.
He showed to have plenty of stamina over the 3m6f distance and with his connections eyeing up the Scottish and Irish Grand National shortly after the Festival, it could well determine his target at the Cheltenham Festival for next season.
The Cross County Chase could be tailor-made for the gelding and he could well challenge the likes of Easysland and Tiger Roll come March.
Galvin’s 12/1 price for the contest is one to watch out for if he makes a strong start to the season.
Harry Cobden is overpriced for the Jumps Jockeys’ Championship
Hovering around the 10/1 mark at this stage, Harry Cobden could well produce a surprise in the Jumps Jockeys’ Championship.
He was still in touching distance of Brian Hughes and Harry Cobden in the closing stages of the season before suffering a horror fall at Aintree in April which ended his season.
The 22-year-old will be pivotal to Paul Nicholls’ Champion Trainer title charge this season and he already holds a 32% strike rate for this term already, with 16 winners from 50 runs.
Cobden is likely to make up the gap between himself and Brian Hughes over the winter months, and his price definitely has some appeal at this stage.