The 2020-21 jumps season was a bit of a strange one due to the lack of crowds (due to Covid) and too many horses being kept at home in the stables rather than racing at the tracks. During the season, I tried making a few suggested wagers, but I never rely got into the groove. However, I did manage and maintain my horse alert list and I've started going through that list and pruning it and adding some extra notes. I'm going to post a few of those notes on a band of horses that I think will do some good things this coming season: it isn't a "horses to follow" list, more a "don't overlook if running" list.
As usual, I will be writing my weekend blog, which will start from 9th October with the jumps meeting at Chepstow. The is likely to be a review of the weekends racing, and from Sunday 5th December there will be suggestions for a portfolio of wagers for the Cheltenham Festival in March 2022. The Cheltenham Portfolio has worked well over the past couple of seasons and hopefully that will continue.
There are no horses older than 8yo on my alert list: by the time they become 9yo they are usually well-exposed and unlikely to find much more improvement. My "bread & butter" is 3-mile-plus handicap chases, and I'm looking for horses that have improvement in them and are well-handicapped. These are the only 8yo's on my alert list.
CANELO: won the Rowland Meyrick at Warwick on Boxing Day, and held his form well. Forget his Grand National effort: 3-mile-plus on Good-to-Soft ground is what he needs, and he ran a career-best on 06Mar21.
DISCORAMA: was 3rd in the 2020 Ultima handicap chase off OR148, he was then aimed at the Grand National. He is now rated OR146 and that looks fair: he's one for an autumn handicap up to 3m4f.
JERSEY BEAN: a hurdle winner over 3-mile (which is always a good indicator), he jumps well, stays well and like to make-all. He's best on good ground - avoid when racing on soft ground.
MANOFTHEMOUNTAIN: a winner of 5 of his 9 chase starts at trips from 2m4f to 3-mile. Ran a career-best LTO and starts 2021-22 on OR144 and that may not stop him winning again.
MILAN NATIVE: winner of the 2020 Kim Muir handicap, after winning his 2020-21 seasonal debut he went a bit off-the-boil. He no looks well handicapped to win his seasonal debut.
MILLINER: good 3-mile hurdlers are as rare as hen's teeth: and this one looks well-handicapped as he's dropped to OR123 (from OR126) after a good 4th in the Pertemps Final over 3-mile which was only his 6th race. If he goes chasing he could be very interesting.
NO GETAWAY: a half-brother to Grand National winner One For Arthur, he will probably be best at 3-mile-plus. So far he's been kept to 2m4f, but he won well at that trip at Sandown. He is slow, so soft/heavy ground is needed.
REAL STEEL: ignore his Gold Cup run in 2020, as he's no 3-mile-plus chaser. Over 2m4f - 2m6f he could be well-in as (after an indifferent debut season with Paul Nicholls) he's dropped to OR154 which could make him a "Paddy Power" handicap chance.
REMASTERED: displayed his chasing promise when winning a Grade-2 in February; he was found lacking in the NH Chase over 3m6f, but maybe the ground was too quick for him. Best on soft/heavy ground, a wet autumn could see him line-up at Newbury for the Ladbroke Trophy off OR146.
SENIOR CITIZEN: starts 2021-22 on OR134 which was his last winning mark. Appears best after a good break over 2m4f-2m5f; he met a well-handicapped horse in the Topham Handicap at Aintree and looks well-handicapped.
TIME TO GET UP: he looks very exciting. Only had 4 chase races, and won the Midlands National over 4m2f on his latest run. Still only on OR144, and he could be a Welsh National winner, before taking the big one at Aintree.
VINNDICATION: let's be honest, he's not a Grade-1 chase, but when chasing home Cyrname at Wetherby he showed that he's not far off. Was joint-fav for the Ladbroke Trophy on the back of that run, and he would have gone close but for unseating his rider 5-out when going well. He looks primed for that race again - maybe going straight there this time - and off OR159 he could go close.