FOR the past few months this blog’s national hunt horses to follow list has spawned many winners. I’ve tried manfully to spot a few future stars and am glad to say that several of the names will be lining up at the Cheltenham Festival. Our Conor and possibly Two Rockers are among them. But below I’ve put together a short list of six who could provide some each-way interest during Festival week.
EDMUND KEAN: I love this horse. He has won twice since a promising debut run and holds an eyecatching entry in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap, a race his trainer David Pipe would love to win of course. You can still get 14/1. I’ve taken it.
KASHMIR PEAK: I was blown away by this fellow when he won at Market Rasen on his hurdling debut and he looks to have a strong profile for the Triumph Hurdle. John Quinn certainly knows how to train the winner of this race.
CENTASIA: Holds an entry in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper although David Pipe has several other alternatives. She certainly has the physique to hold her own and would receive a very handy 7lb mares’ allowance.
VALDEZ: A real favourite and one that I don’t think we’ve seen the best of yet. On the face of it he looks to have a stiff task if he takes his place in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but there is no doubt he has an engine. He ran a blinder in trying to give weight to Cheltenian and Minella Forfitness at Doncaster. A strong gallop and decent ground would be ideal for him and 66/1 is too big. He is also in the County Hurdle but probably wouldn’t get in.
WHISPER: Entered in the Neptune and the Martin Pipe. A facile winner at Ffos Las and would be interesting if Nicky Henderson thinks he is mature enough to run at the Festival although he probably looks like a horse for next season.
O’FAOLAINS BOY: A big chasing type whom Rebecca Curtis has placed to win three times. He looks a handy type for the Albert Bartlett (He is also in the Neptune). He will stay and is tough. The bookies can’t work him out: his ante-post price varies from 16/1 to 33s.
For the full National Hunt Horses To Follow list please click here