The 2017 horseracing schedule is upon us and there are plenty of horses to keep an eye on. Whether it’s via a bookie review or one of the expert online tipsters, there is plenty of inside knowledge to sink your teeth into. The year is sure to bring a wave of new talent, and just possibly, the odd outsider or two.
The Grand National may not be for another five months but as one the biggest events of the sporting calendar, it pays to be prepared.
Silvergrove may just be Bourton-on-the-Water yard’s first runner in the April race. The eight-year-old came agonisingly close to a treble win for his first starts for Pauling, however, Tom David’s broken rack at Sandown in December prevented him from doing so.
Still, he showed formidable form and his rating increase from 116 to 138 upon his third place finish in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. Should Silvergrove qualify for the Grand National, he needs to continue his progress and the Becher Chase of December at Aintree is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Le Breuil is also tipped for 2017 stardom, the four-year-old only has three runs to his name, winning two of them. And the horse has great backing having been purchased on the advice of Henrietta Knight, Knight of course trained Best Mate to three Gold Cups. In addition to Knight’s support, Le Breuil has also won over Richard Johnson who earlier this year claimed the Champion Jockey title.
Songbird is another horse likely to be in the spotlight next year. The three-year-old filly boasts an incredible record winning each of her eleven starts. It’s possible that she’ll take the Eclipse Award as Champion Three-Year-Old Filly having won the accolade for Eclipse Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.
With seven Grade 1 victories behind her, it’s a clear indication that she should be an exciting watch next year and there’s whispers of Songbird going up against males which definitely adds to the excitement.
Another horse that may just impress, or at least continue to impress, racing fans is Barters Hill. The six-year-old has nine lifetime runs behind him, winning seven, beaten only once and forced out his last race due to injury.
His only loss came against Unowhatimeanharry in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle last season as he stumbled at the last flight to finish fourth. His chasing debut in the 2m4f Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase did not go as well as trainer Ben Pauling hoped as the animal pulled up after he reportedly slipped a tendon off a hind hock, however, the injury is not career threatening and Pauling is confident of Barters Hill making a return next year.
And what a pleasure it will be to see him return to once again own the track and dominate the hurdles.