Tote Ten To Follow Tips – Chris Loader reveals his ten-horse stable
Chris Loader reveals his ten-horse stable for Tote’s new and improved Ten To Follow competition.
This Saturday sees the start of relaunched Tote Ten To Follow. It’s fantastic to see a strategy game for the sport that will have you glued through the dark winter months ahead.
When it comes pundits’ perspective of what formula works best, I have read a variety of ideas but I have my own theories that I am keen to share with you which will be reflected in my stable choices.
Firstly think about the pathway for your horses this season by trying to get the most runs out them. Secondly target the bonus races being provided as extra points can be earned. Lastly pick horses that others might overlook, so therefore try and exploit this as much as possible to stand out from the crowd.
CHRIS LOADER’S TOTE TEN TO FOLLOW STABLE
Belami Des Pictons
A left-field selection to start proceedings but Venetia Williams could have a seriously well handicapped horse on her hands. Things did not go to plan in the Bet Victor Gold Cup but he ran a very eye-catching race to finish in fourth place. Ideally he needs three miles and testing ground. His form behind Waiting Patiently reads well and the eight-year-old still holds an entry in the King George however it is unlikely he will line up. The son of Khalevi is definitely one to keep on side in handicaps this season.
The dual Champion Hurdle winner might have been underestimated last season but he reminded everyone with his superb determination by scoring at the Punchestown Festival. The Champion Hurdle picture looks up for grabs but the nine-year-old could still be the one to follow. He’s set to take his usual route going to the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and then most likely the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. With two Grades One’s in December I think there could be some easy points on offer.
The lightly raced seven-year-old is highly regarded by Paul Nicholls and believes he has a future over staying trips. He could potentially line up in the Welsh National, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if could win a Betfred Classic, Midlands National or Eider Handicap. There’s lots of stamina in his pedigree and off a mark of 139 there seems to be enough room for improvement.
There will be a lot of expectation on the Grade One hurdler to live up to his name as a chaser. On chase debut he looked a natural with a comprehensive victory at Newbury. Champ looks to be the best three mile novice we have seen in Britain so far and looks to be one of the leading players in the RSA. With two entries at Newbury later this week his credentials will be displayed again.
Defi Du Seuil
It was a lovely seasonal reappearance in the Schloer Chase at Cheltenham. His rivalry with Lostintranslation was one of the fascinating battles from last season. This year they go their own separate ways with a variety of trip options for Defi Du Seuil. Trainer Phillip Hobbs has stated that the Tingle Creek at Sandown could be his next target but wherever he pitches up he will be a solid contender.
This mare was very exciting for Henry De Bromhead last season but unfortunately had to miss the Cheltenham Festival after sustaining a setback. However she confirmed her class by impressing at Punchestown. She’s already had a run out winning comfortably at Fairyhouse. De Bromhead revealed that she is likely to head for the Grade One Hatton Grace on Sunday. I think she can be a major player in Mares’ Race at the Spring Festivals.
The Simon Munir & Isaac Souede owned gelding ran some blinders in top handicaps last season including in the Brown Advisory Plate carrying a big weight. He showed his potential with a comfortable success in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. The six-year-old is now ready to cut it at the top table in Graded races.
The eight-year-old shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to Grade Ones over two miles especially in Ireland where he is one of the best around. He notched up three Grade One’s last season and with questions mark surrounding Altior’s campaign the door could be open to him in the Champion Chase.
I have a big fan of Now McGinty and followed his progression as a chaser with a close eye. One of his victories game at Chepstow and it appears connections are aiming to win the Welsh National with him in December. I think he can be a lively contender in some of the big handicaps this season.
On The Blind Side
The Grade 2 winning hurdler has had his fair share of setbacks and knocks but he could still have real potential and is set to line up in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday. He ran a really encouraging appearance at Ascot staying on into fourth place in a warm race. Off a handicap mark of 149 he could still have ten pounds worth of improvement to offer.