We're just a matter of weeks away from the start of the 2023/24 National Hunt season and there is always an aura of anticipation and excitement at this stage of the year.
Here, I've picked out 10 horses to follow in the jumps season and hopefully we'll see one or two go on to win one of the big races at the spring Festivals.
Without further ado, here are my ten horses to follow in 2023/24. You'll almost certainly be seeing a lot of these names in our horse racing tips throughout the campaign!
Jumps Horses To Follow (2023/24):
- Amirite - Henry de Bromhead
- Ballyburn - Willie Mullins
- Brighterdaysahead - Gordon Elliott
- By The Grace - Nicky Henderson
- East Street - Sue Smith
- Hasthing - Jonjo O'Neill
- L'Homme Presse - Venetia Williams
- Midnight River - Dan Skelton
- Seddon - John McConnell
- The Yellow Clay - Gordon Elliott
Amirite (Henry De Bromhead)
His initial point-to-point victory at Loughrea has subsequently heralded a whole host of winners and I feel Amirite will break through in his own right in the staying chase division this season.
After achieving a useful level of form over hurdles, De Bromhead’s charge won a Beginner’s Chase on debut last time, ran a cracker to be third in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl, unseated in the Neville’s Hotel when prominent, finished third in the Grade 3 Finlay Ford, then ran inexplicably bad in the Irish Grand National when sent off the favourite.
I can easily see the seven-year-old Amirite contesting either the English or Irish National’s this season.
Ballyburn (Willie Mullins)
Top Irish trainer Willie Mullins is the man to follow in any season with many of his horses well-backed to win their respective races.
One of his most exciting prospects for the upcoming months is Ballyburn who secured two highly impressive bumper victories at Punchestown earlier this year. He has already attracted plenty of interest in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle, which his owner Ronnie Bartlett sponsors.
This Flemensfirth-gelding is definitely one of the leading youngsters in the Mullins yard this season and I expected the five-year-old to be on everyone’s lips by the end of it.
Brighterdaysahead (Gordon Elliott)
Owned by Gigginstown House, they look to have an exciting horse on their ever diminishing roster this season.
A half-sister to the Gordon Elliott’s ill-fated Mighty Potter, the four-year-old showed was she is capable of with a couple of impressive bumper victories last season. Elliott describes her as a "seriously good mare" and a hurdling campaign beckons.
We make her a 14/1 chance for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at this season’s Cheltenham Festival if you’re looking for an early antepost flutter in the Cheltenham races betting odds.
By The Grace (Nicky Henderson)
This four-year-old filly is from the Blue Bresil who is the sire of Constitution Hill which gives her a really well bred background for starters. Her only race to date was in a bumper at Southwell where she finished a respectable second.
Standing at just over 16.1 hands high, she is an interesting horse for the Seven Barrows stable to go into battle with.
Henderson says he likes the way she is progressing on the gallops, especially against her own age group and it would come as no surprise if he put her straight over hurdles this season.
Ground wise, both trainer and jockey (Nico De Boinville) seem adamant she needs some cut in the ground.
East Street (Sue Smith)
Having watched East Street’s rules career from hurdling to chasing - mainly at Wetherby, I’m convinced the seven-year-old is going to turn into a great stamp of a chaser which is what most of the late Trevor Hemmings horses over the seasons were purchased for.
Considered by Sue Smith as being “not quick”, I would expect to see East Street contesting some of the Premier and lower Graded staying handicap chases this season and I would go as far as saying he could make it to the Festival.
First port of call for East Street this season: Wetherby or Haydock in November.
Hasthing (Jonjo O’Neill)
A winner of two AQPS races in France 2021, connections certainly did their research and homework before purchasing Hasthing and he could well repay their faith in the forthcoming season.
After making his British debut at Uttoxeter last season where he finished second, he ran an impressive third in the Grade 3 Bumper at the Aintree Festival. You would expect the six-year-old to come on a bundle in this new jumps campaign.
L’Homme Presse (Venetia Williams)
I shall go out on a limb in this section of the article and go as far as saying I think L’Homme Presse has a great chance of landing the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, so bear him in mind when placing your horse race bets online with us.
Naturally I hope the eight-year-old comes back and wins a multitude of races after his enforced break due to injury, but at the top of his game he can take the Christmas feature.
L’Homme Presse was three lengths behind subsequent Gold Cup second Bravemansgame when unseating his rider at the last in the Kempton showpiece last December, and before that had lumped 12st to victory in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle.
A fully fit L’Homme Presse has to be on any serious “to follow” list this season.
Midnight River (Dan Skelton)
Owned by Frank McAleavy and his lovely family, I’ve been lucky enough to piggyback on some of the success of Midnight River in the last couple of seasons.
From being a “stand-in” owner for the day when he won at Wetherby, to the euphoria of winning the Freebooter Handicap Chase (Premier Race) on Grand National Day 2023, the horse is a cracker and I believe there are plenty more big days to come with him.
Initial big race target 2023/24: Coral Gold Cup (Dec 2nd)
Seddon (John McConnell)
It may well feel like it’s the one that got away for his previous owners – the McNeill family, but the ten-year-old Seddon has proved to be a revelation since he left Harry Whittington and joined John McConnell in Ireland with Festival wins coming at both Cheltenham and Punchestown and I am expecting plenty more feature race victories to come this season.
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could feature significantly in the Aintree Grand National this term and I wouldn’t put anyone off having an each-way flutter on him at this early juncture.
The Yellow Clay (Gordon Elliott)
The Yellow Clay collected two bumper wins in the space of 21 days earlier this year, one of them a Listed affair at Limerick, so this horse appears to be an Elliott newbie seriously on the up and a tracker certainty.
You would like to think he will be campaigned towards one of the novice hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival and he will be an interesting watch in the meantime.
Down Royal in early November for their 2m1f maiden hurdle looks the most likely first port of call.
*Credit for the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*