Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season

Ruby's take on Willie Mullins' 10 will follow next week, btw.


*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

1 Shishkin ( N Henderson)

Shishkin looks a very, very, very good horse. I can’t say for certain yet, but all the indications are that he may go novice chasing and he did win a point-to-point in Ireland.

He proved himself to be the best 2m novice hurdler last season when winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and will have the same horses to beat again if he goes novice chasing.

The likes of Vautour, Douvan and Altior all won the Supreme Novices Hurdle before scaling even greater heights over fences.

2 Envoi Allen (G Elliott)

No prizes for originality but even at this stage it’s ridiculous that we’re thinking of what Gordon Elliott’s target will be next March at the Cheltenham Festival.

Gordon said earlier this week that the Marsh Novice Chase is Envoi Allen’s preferred option in his novice season as a stepping stone to a crack at a future Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Unbeaten in his sole point-to-point and eight races under Rules, he is the most exciting novice hurdler going chasing in these islands.

3 Honeysuckle (H de Bromhead)

A fantastic mare for the Henry de Bromhead yard who won the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, Irish Champion Hurdle and the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season.

Honeysuckle will take in all the top races again this season and will be tough for the mares to beat off level weights and for the geldings to beat conceding the 7lb mares’ allowance.


4 Captain Guinness (H de Bromhead)

Another de Bromhead runner, Captain Guinness looked a very exciting novice hurdler last season but could go chasing this term. He’s a very free-going horse and was travelling well when brought down in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last season.

He strikes me as horse who will be really suited to fences. He’s brave, likes to get on with things and has only had three runs so is open to loads of improvement. He could potentially have three or four novice chases won in Ireland before possibly meeting Shishkin in the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham next March.

5 Champ (N Henderson)

Last season’s, last-gasp, RSA Chase winner could start his campaign off in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and looks like a dour stayer in the making. He’s rated 161 at the moment and has the potential to develop into a Gold Cup horse in time, but will needs to improve to the 170’s to do so.

Champ could be well handicapped for that Newbury showpiece at the end of November and is a four-time course winner there.

Thyme Hill wins at Newbury

6 Thyme Hill (P Hobbs)

Finished fourth to Monkfish in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle last season, but there was very little between those two and the second and third, Latest Exhibition and Fury Road.

Not all of them will go chasing and Thyme Hill could be the one to go the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle route. He could prove a big danger to Paisley Park and Lisnagar Oscar if he pitches up there.

7 Abacadabras (G Elliott)

His trainer Gordon Elliott has indicated that he will stay hurdling this season and there looks to be an opening for a really good 2m hurdler in Ireland. He competed with all the main players in the novice hurdling division last season and was just chinned by Shishkin in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Abacadabras was fourth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham to Envoi Allen and looked at one stage like he might beat his stablemate at Fairyhouse last year when second to him in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle.

He could be one of the leading Irish challengers for the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle next March.

8 The Big Breakaway (C Tizzard)

Colin Tizzard had some decent novice hurdlers last season and The Big Breakaway rounded off his campaign by finishing fourth to Envoi Allen in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle.

I know Robert ‘Puppy’ Power thinks a lot of him and you could argue he was even a little disappointing in that contest, but Tizzard’s horses were a bit under the weather that week.

He has ‘staying chaser’ written all over him, has already won a point-to-point and could progress to be RSA Chase material next March.

9 Fiddlerontheroof (C Tizzard)

I didn’t think he’d have the pace to win a Supreme Novices Hurdle last season and so it proved as he he finished closer last than first, behind Shishkin. Even when he won the Grade 1 2m Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on soft ground – he looked like he needed to step up in trip.

Fiddlerontheroof jumps like a chaser and a step up to 2m 4f over fences will make him a hard horse to beat in the UK this winter. He already holds an entry at Chepstow on Saturday.

10 Third Time Lucki (D Skelton)

Dan Skelton’s charge finished fourth in the Champion Bumper to Ferny Hollow and could be an interesting recruit to the novice hurdling division.

He was the best of the English-trained runners that day and you just know that his trainer Dan Skelton will place him to win novice hurdles this season. Third Time Lucki could end up having a crack at the Supreme Novices Hurdle in time.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

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