Timeform’s 10 to follow: The scientific approach to a hopefully profitable 2016/17 jumps season

The boffins love an acronym as much as we love a winner so we've teamed up to give you a steer ahead of the new National Hunt campaign

Ballyoptic (Ire) Nigel Twiston-Davies 146p

Made rapid progress over hurdles last term, with his three wins including the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and continued in that vein with a convincing win at Chepstow. Could be a live World Hurdle candidate at the Festival, especially as reigning champ Thistlecrack goes chasing. Looks the type to make a chaser himself.

Clan des Obeaux (Fr) Paul Nicholls h143p

Was a beaten favourite on debut at the Chepstow festival earlier in the month but showed form bordering on smart in light novice hurdle campaign in 2015/16. He can climb even higher this term whether he’s kept over hurdles or switched to chasing (even as a four-year-old); best form so far on heavy ground.

Romain de Senam (Fr) Paul Nicholls h138

Had a rather hit-and-miss second half of 2015/16 but was unlucky not to win the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle when chinned by stablemate Diego Du Charmil. Well beaten at Aintree by Apple’s Jade when upped to Group One company but this strong traveller who wears a hood may be best suited by big-field races over 2m.

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Betameche (Fr) Dan Skelton b119p

Unbeaten in two starts in bumpers, and looks an exciting prospect for novices hurdles; has plenty of speed and will probably stay further than 2m.

Hell’s Kitchen Harry Fry h132

Showed useful form in a light campaign over hurdles in 2015/16 and should prove at least as effective as a novice chaser this term; stays a testing 2½m.

Jenkins (Ire) Nicky Henderson b116+

Produced the best performance by a debutant in a bumper all last season when winning by nine lengths at Newbury in April. Was beaten by Coeur De Lion at Punchestown next time but travelled like the best horse for a long way. One for top 2m novice hurdles this season.

Minella Rocco (Ire) Jonjo O’Neill c153p

Winner of the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in his first season over fences and looks set to play a big part in the top-staying chase handicaps this term. Lokks worth a long-range interest for the 2017 Grand National at Aintree next April.

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Our Kaempfer (Ire) Charlie Longsdon h143p

Fifth in the Pertemps Network Final, this hold-up performer still has potential over hurdles but is really seen as a staying chaser and was second to Rock the Kasbah at Chepstow (Clan des Obeaux) back in fourth. Likely to win a novice chase or two but may really thrive in big-field handicaps.

Westend Story (Ire) Philip Hobbs b116p

Showed smart form in bumpers last season, winning twice before looking unlucky not to finish closer than fifth in the Champion Bumper. Can prove a leading novice hurdler in 2016/17.

Winter Escape (Ire) Alan King h142P

Highly progressive in winning his three starts in 2015/16, including the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton. Looks the type to land a good prize in the new season with possibly the valuable Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February an appealing target.

Has Timeform’s Ten To Follow whet your appetite?

For just £9.95 you can purchase Timeform’s Fifty Horses To Follow 2016/17, the essential companion to the jumps season.

2016/17 Jumps Edition Features

  • Fifty to follow from Britain, including form, ratings and profiles for each
  • Horses to follow from Ireland
  • Rising Stars – profiling the up-and-coming trainers and jockeys to watch out for
  • Antepost Betting – Cheltenham and Aintree
  • Talking to the Trainers – horses to follow from a host of big-name handlers
  • Review of 2015/16 – including ‘Timeform’s View’ form analysis of the biggest races
  • Timeform Top 100s and ‘Promising Horses’ lists

Timeform’s Ten To Follow, carefully chosen by members of Timeform’s editorial staff, are listed below with their respective Timeform Rating. The list contains a selection of horses that have gone under the radar and should provide punters with a profit by backing them over the course of the season. The Timeform Rating of a horse is simply the merit of the horse expressed in pounds and is arrived at by careful examination of its running against other horses. The ratings range from 175+ for the champions down to a figure of around 55 for selling platers. Symbols attached to the ratings: ‘p’–likely to improve; ‘P’–capable of much better form; ‘+’–the horse may be better than we have rated it.

What do you think?