10 to watch over jumps this winter

The National Hunt season hits top gear this weekend. With Flemenstar and Sprinter Sacre already on their way to the top, Chris McGrath picks lesser lights to look out for

1. Balgarry

21/17- (David Pipe)

French import who made a dazzling debut on these shores at Newbury in March, in command a long way out, and again went with terrific dash in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, just 11 days later. Once again he had plenty off the bridle, turning in, only to find the extra distance too much over such a stiff track. Still unexposed, Balgarry will surely surpass his revised mark.

2. Captain Sunshine

2F211-6 (Emma Lavelle)

Gradually found his feet as a novice last season, but his ultimate fulfilment beckons over longer trips. Half-brothers won the Irish National and Pertemps Final, and he might end up targeting the latter himself, after a promising return round Cheltenham last month. The priority that day was to blow away cobwebs in his technique, but his finish through midfield – from well off the pace – announced a well treated horse.

3. Cash And Go

31115- (Nicky Henderson)

Edward O'Grady seemed to have expected little else after his Grade One breakthrough at Leopardstown last Christmas, but the horse disappeared after finishing lame in his only subsequent start. He has now resurfaced at Seven Barrows, and could start out in a valuable handicap at Cheltenham on Sunday. Perhaps the Tote Gold Trophy, a race in which his new trainer has a fine record, is near the top of his agenda.

4. Clondaw Knight

F1- (Lucinda Russell)

Having had the loss of a first Festival winner placed in ghastly perspective by the second freak accident that claimed his young rider, Lucinda Russell and Sandy Seymour have done their best to look to the future. And this could be the pick of several potential replacements for Brindisi Breeze. Still only four, he cost £140,000 after a superb point-to-point win in Ireland – and all neutrals hope he proves worth every penny.

5. Diocles

1/3211- (Donald McCain)

Rather scrambled home for consecutive odds-on wins in January, but his trainer felt that those performances barely scratched the surface and put him away to mature. The way this useful bumper horse had tanked into contention against a smart rival on his hurdling debut leaves no doubt that he will repay that patience, when switched to fences this season.

6. Master Malt

2- (Alistair Whillans)

Good to see this small Scottish stable housing a young horse capable of amplifying its undoubted abilities. Nicely bred and quietly backed, he shaped with tremendous promise on his debut against a Nicky Henderson hotpot in a bumper at Ayr in April. After cruising out of midfield to challenge, he was only worried out of it close home and finished fully 15 lengths clear of the rest.

7. New Year's Eve

1129- (John Ferguson)

His new venture as a jumps trainer soon made Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager a serious embarrassment to rivals who had been in the game for years, and this one laid down perhaps his most exciting marker. Sent off favourite for the Cheltenham Bumper, he challenged smoothly turning in but was narrowly outstayed up the hill. Though he then nearly drowned in absurd conditions at Punchestown, he will surely be a force over hurdles with a suitable emphasis on speed.

8. On His Own

4P1-B1F (Willie Mullins)

Very few miles on the clock since his transfer to Ireland's champion trainer but soon announced his Grand National credentials with an impressive success at Gowran in January. Sure enough, he was moving ominously in third when paying for his first mistake at Becher's second time. Entering his prime at eight, he will be given a circumspect preparation to guarantee he returns to Liverpool with a similarly feasible rating.

9. Rule The World

1-12 (Mouse Morris)

Impressive in a point-to-point and maiden hurdle, he then stepped up to three miles against more seasoned rivals at Cork. One of those was able to set a slow pace, and worried Rule The World out of a photo after he had tanked through to challenge, just betraying inexperience in his jumping. In the best of hands, he may yet live up to his immodest christening.

10. Un Atout

1- (Willie Mullins)

Sent off at long odds-on for his debut in a four-year-olds' bumper at Naas in January, he coasted 24 lengths clear, and Ireland's prepotent jumps trainer was purring afterwards about his temperament – and also, significantly, his schooling technique. Sidelined by a muscle problem thereafter, he will be sent straight over hurdles. Widely available at 33-1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, and that could prove a sporting punt.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Leeds This i...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power