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The RacingTips predictions for 2017 and the greatest moments of 2016

The RacingTips team have been looking ahead to the next twelve months and they have picked out their predictions for 2017.

After another sensational year of racing, the experts have also selected their highlights from 2016, as they look back at an incredible Cheltenham Festival, flat season and more.

NICK WILBY

2016 racing highlight

I have been a huge fan of Don Cossack for a while now and it was tremendous to see him live up to his trainer's huge expectations in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His powerful and commanding performance must rank as one of the best of the year and it was also great to see Cooper overcome some issues at Cheltenham in the saddle.  It would be crazy to suggest that Don Cossack is done after his injury and I am thrilled to hear he has returned to something like his best on the gallops.

I have been impressed with Thistlecrack this season but don't write off the Don just yet!

2017 racing prediction

Almanzor finished the season as the star of the Flat, but La Cressonniere would have taken some stopping if she had lined up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.  The vibes from France were that La Cressonniere was a much better horse than her stablemate and it is frightening to think what she might have done had she lined up in Europe’s premier middle-distance contest.

Odds of 8/1 on her winning the 2017 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe leap off the page and if she can get there in one piece I will be all over her in the market.

BRIAN HEALY

2016 racing highlight

There were plenty of racing highlights in 2016, and perhaps predictably for me the greatest moment came when seeing the resurgent Sprinter Sacre storm up the hill to regain his Champion Chase crown.

Written off by many following his lacklustre season in the wake of his much-vaunted heart problems, Nicky Henderson's superstar chaser returned to the scene of his greatest triumph in 2013 to set the record straight in devastating fashion as he rolled back the years to deliver a knock-out blow to Un De Sceaux.

Roared on by an enthusiastic audience, no-one could have begrudged Sprinter's success in recapturing the Champion Chase crown as he ran out a four-length victor over Willie Mullins' star; and it was perhaps a fitting end to a glittering career that he would end up unbeaten in the 2015/16 season when capturing the Celebration Chase at Sandown on what ultimately became his final start.

2017 racing prediction

After a stellar 2016 season that saw her boot home 85 winners enroute to capturing the Champion Apprentice title, Josephine Gordon can take the next step up the ladder as she turns professional to become only the second female rider to break the 100-winner barrier in a calendar year.

Gordon has been in demand since making the breakthrough in fantastic style, and it is hard to remember that prior to October 2015, Gordon had ridden just five winners that year; but she grabbed 2016 by the scruff of its' neck as she posted wins for top trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute, William Haggas and Hugo Palmer amongst others.

The sky is the limit for the 23-year old, and likely to continue in great demand in 2017 it isn't hard to see Gordon smash through the 100-winner barrier. 

JONATHAN VINE

2016 racing highlight

It's been an amazing season. Two moments which were at the foremost of my thoughts when I was posed this question, were Ar Mad's incredible win in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown last December and Nigel Twiston-Davies celebrating with his team when Blaklion won the RSA at Cheltenham. However, Sprinter Scare reclaiming his Queen Mother crown was a sight to behold. It was an incredible performance and to see the great man himself, Nicky Henderson so overcome with emotion, will have given anyone a lump in their throat. If I could relive one moment from the 2016 season again, it would be that one.

2017 racing prediction

My prediction for the 2017 season is a very simple one - whatever race Douvan enters at the Cheltenham Festival, whether that be the Champion Chase or the Ryanair, he will win. That prediction extends into the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals too, if Willie Mullins decides to send him there. He seems like the Anthony Joshua of horse racing at the moment - if he gets into the parade ring, a knock-out seems inevitable.

RICHARD MOORE

2016 racing highlight

It was fantastic to finally have a proper battle for the Trainer's Championship, with the added bonus of it being an Irish trainer pushing Paul Nicholls to the pin of his collar. You nearly have to go back to the days when Nicholls was challenging Martin Pipe to find the last ding-dong head to head so late in the season, and it undoubtedly added an extra dimension to meeting like Aintree, Ayr and Sandown, which can sometimes suffer in the wake of the behemoth that is Cheltenham.

2017 racing prediction

The decline of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham will be a major talking point in the aftermath of the Festival. With more and more owners prioritising the Gold Cup (and races over fences in general), fewer of the top novice hurdlers are staying over hurdles in their second season. The first three home from the Supreme Novice Hurdle in 2016 have already started their chasing careers, resulting in a dearth of new blood coming through in the two mile division. How long this can continue is another matter.

STEVE SHARMA

2016 racing highlight

Sprinter Sacre regaining the Queen Mother Champion Chase - Nicky Henderson's 'steeplechaser from the Gods' confirmed himself one of the all-time great two-mile chasers, climbing back off the canvas to bring Cheltenham to its knees.

2017 racing prediction

Andrea Atzeni to become champion jockey - The Italian is majestic in the saddle, strong with impeccable timing and nerves of steel. If he gets the book of rides his talent deserves he'll surely go close to being champion. 

ADAM VOWLES

2016 racing highlight

'Flat or Jumps? I'm definitely a jumps man so my highlight of 2016 was way back in March watching Thistlecrack pop over the second last and gradually stretch away to win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham eased down! I'm looking forward to next year's Gold Cup already!'


Tom Scudamore riding Thistlecrack.

2017 racing prediction

William Haggas' Rivet is one to keep an eye on for the Derby, he was outpaced 2 out in the Dewhurst but looked to be staying on towards the finish and found a nice rhythm when he won the Racing Post Trophy in good style.


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The RacingTips predictions for 2017 and the greatest moments of 2016

The RacingTips team have been looking ahead to the next twelve months and they have picked out their predictions for 2017.

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