Here are the horses you MUST back in 2019… AND an early Grand National fancy, from bettingexpert’s Stephen Harris
1 – Lalor
Kayley Woollacott’s cracking novice hurdler made a deeply impressive start over fences at Cheltenham in November, and simply failed to handle really bad ground when turned over at a thin price at Sandown next time (tiring up the hill in third).
He is being aimed at the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and the current price around 8/1 makes plenty of appeal at this stage.
2 – Champ
Nicky Henderson’s scopey novice landed hefty market confidence when making a winning handicap debut at Newbury in a huge field, and is expected to develop into a graded performer in 2019.
He is still raw and learning the game, pulling hard for the first mile there, and really impressing with how he saw the race out on testing ground.
3 – Beakstown
Dan Skelton went to £400,000 to secure this strapping sort, and he looks a really exciting prospect to follow over hurdles before going chasing next season.
He made a winning return from the front at Uttoxeter when well backed, and can be forgiven a short-priced defeat at Newcastle (held up off a crawl and finished strongly).
4 – Santini
This progressive novice hurdler looked a cracking young chaser to keep on side of when making a winning seasonal debut at Newbury in November, thought to be in need of the run but tanking through the race despite one major error.
He is held in the highest regard at home (thought to prefer better ground), and might be one to look out for at Aintree in the spring (where the flat track will suit his strong travelling/sound jumping run style).
5 – Too Darn Hot
John Gosden’s unbeaten Dubawi colt progressed run to run in his juvenile campaign, completing a fantastic four-timer when landing the Group 1 Dewhurst at Newmarket in October.
He has scope to improve, should relish an increased test of stamina as he matures, and is being aimed at the Epsom Derby in June by his excellent trainer.
The current price of 7/2 makes plenty of appeal as a stocking-filler for flat racing fans this Christmas.
And one for the Grand National….
For the Grand National at Aintree in April, it could be worth keeping an eye on Sue Smith’s consistent stayer Vintage Clouds (currently a 25/1 chance).
He is a sound jumping sort who revels in testing ground, and has long shaped as though an extended test of stamina could really suit him.
Regular pilot Danny Cook is brilliant in these marathon staying chases, and he is likely to be positively ridden up with the pace and out of trouble.
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