Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 10 to follow for the 2023/24 Jumps season

Mick's gazed into his crystal ball and reckons Supreme Novices Hurdle champ Marine Nationale is the Arkle Chase winner in waiting.

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I love this part of the season, trying to work out what is going to fulfil the promise of last season and I have tried to mix a few established stars with some exciting novices.

1 Fact To File (Willie Mullins)

Willie Mullins has said that he is going chasing with him. That is a bold move and the last time I remember him doing that with a good bumper horse was with Florida Pearl. Not many will need to be reminded of the lofty heights he reached.

2 Constitution Hill (Nicky Henderson)

There isn’t much to say about Constitution Hill that has not already been said. He is the best two-mile hurdler around in the division!

3 El Fabiolo (Willie Mullins)

El Fabiolo has a very bright future as he showed when winning the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season. In many ways I am disappointed Energumene is not around this season. You need the stars to take each other on to see who is really the best in competitive races.

4 Marine Nationale (Barry Connell)

He looked so good winning the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and connections have opted to send him over fences. He is a very clean jumper and the future is bright for him. The only concern I have is that he will not run a lot of times in his novice season as he seems to favour better Spring ground rather than deep winter ground. His trainer / owner Barry Connell is very wisely going to campaign him sparingly and he’s  the Arkle winner in waiting for me.

5 A Dream To Share (John E & Thomas Kiely)

This was an amazing story last year for the Gleeson family who subsequently sold him to JP McManus. He is good enough to run in top-level Flat races and it would not surprise me if one day they explore that option. He can also be out of the top drawer over hurdles with the Supreme Novices hurdle the aim.

6 Shishkin (Nicky Henderson)

He went to Zara Tindall for his prep work this season and he thrived. He is my fancy at this stage for the King GeorgeVI Chase at Kempton over Christmas. Remember he is four wins from four starts at Kempton.

7 Stay Away Fay (Paul Nicholls)

These 10 to follow lists are usually dominated by Irish-trained horses as they’ve had the best novice hurdlers and chasers so it stands to reason they will then have the better horses the following season also. However, Stay Away Fay, broke the Irish stranglehold when winning the Albert Bartlett novice hurdle over three miles at the Festival and can take top honours over fences this season. His win at Exeter only scratched the surface of what he might achieve as a chaser.

Shishkin jumps a fence

8 – Galopin des Champs (Willie Mullins)

It was very hard to leave last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner out of this list. I am really interested to see how he gets on in the early part of the season. He is the defending Gold Cup champion but a lot will depend on how he bounces back from those exertions last season. We mightn’t see him more than once or twice before March 2024.

9 – Dysart Enos (Fergal O’Brien)

She beat Queens Gamble at Market Rasen and then won at Aintree. She is a very smart filly who will mop up some of those mares races this season.

10 – Tullyhill (Willie Mullins)

Tullyhill gave A Dream To Share a scare in the Champion bumper at Puchestown and looks to have a bright future. Staying hurdles are going to be the order of the day for him according to his trainer Willie Mullins.

* 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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