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National Hunt Eyecatchers For November

National hunt action well and truly ignited in November and there were some eyecatching performances from a plethora of runners and we take a look at the ones who have caught our eye and could be horses to follow for the season and could become lively contenders at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.

Vasco Du Ronceray

Nicky Henderson's Vasco Du Ronceray was sent off a short-priced 1/5 favourite for a weak juvenile hurdle at Hereford on November 1, but the French recruit showed some real class as he stormed to a facile 32-length victory and it immediately saw him propel to the head of the betting for the 2013 Triumph Hurdle.

Related to the great Gloria Victis, McCoy elected to send him out in front in the early exchanges and on the whole he jumped relatively soundly and gradually drew clear of his rivals to win with his head in his chest.  He will obviously have a lot tougher tasks to come, but he is certainly one for the notebook as the season progresses.

Silviniaco Conti

Paul Nicholls has kicked off the new campaign in blistering fashion and he will be excited by the potential of Silviniaco Conti after he produced a fine effort to win the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and immediately put himself in the King George VI Chase frame and also the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In a decent renewal, Ruby Walsh was always travelling eye-catchingly well and after the last he produced a superb turn of foot to show that there's a lot more in the locker and if he can use that race as a springboard then he could well be seen competing in all the top races this season.

Cue Card

Racegoers at Exeter couldn't have been more impressed with the display Cue Card produced when romping away with the Haldon Gold Cup and the former Champion Bumper winner and Arkle Challenge Trophy runner-up was immediately slashed in price for the 2012 King George VI Chase.

Taking on the classy duo of Menorah and Edgardo Sol he was always going to face a stiff task, but he merely set a strong pace from the outset and that pair were unable to live with him as the former made a few mistakes during the Grade Two contest.

Turning for home he had the race won and duly propelled clear and his 26-length victory was certainly taken into account by the bookmakers and he could well be a star of the new jumps season and is one very much for the notebook in the top class races.


Seldom do you see a novice chaser dominate in the way Donald McCain's Overturn did when winning at Sandown Park and it immediately saw bookmakers slash the former Champion Hurdle runner-up for the 2013 Arkle Challenge Trophy and he is sure to be an interesting one to follow this season.

In a race he was always going to win if he jumped round, it was the manner in which Jason Maguire allowed him to attack his fences and he showed a masterclass in dealing with the birch as he sauntered clear in the closign stages.

Jumping is always one of the main attributes needed when winning the Arkle and if he could reproduce that sort of display in March then there's no doubting he will be a leading contender in a very strong division this season.


Flemenstar kickstarted his new campaign with a mightily-impressive front-running display in the Fortria Chase at Navan and Peter Casey's exciting stable star cemented his place in the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup market as he careered clear of the classy Foildubh and Big Zeb in the Grade Two race.

Having shown his potential last year, the seven-year-old didn't disappoint on his first outing in the 2m contest and ran his rivals ragged from the front with another foot-perfect display of jumping and he is now expected to be stepped up in trip as he looks to build up to what could be a career-making race at Cheltenham in March.


David Pipe's former World Hurdle runner-up Dynaste was imperious on his chasing debut at Cheltenham's Open meeting as the classy grey got the better of Fingal Bay in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase with an accomplished display of jumping.

Stalking his main rival throughout the contest, Tom Scudamore held on the Pond House inmate until the turn for home and duly picked off Philip Hobbs's raider and sprinted clear to win easily and the in the process earn quotes of 6/1 for the 2013 RSA Chase.

Dodging Bullets

Ruby Walsh was forced to make the running on Paul Nicholls's Dodging Bullets, but the exciting four-year-old had no problem in dispatching some decent rivals in the Sharp Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham's Open meeting and he is certainly a youngster to keep an eye on over the season.

He was installed as a 14/1 shot for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but he could step out of the novice division next time out and who's to say that he couldn't turn into a Champion Hurdle candidate.

Far West

Yet another Paul Nicholls inmate who starred at Cheltenham and Far West looked every little a Triumph Hurdle candidate as he stormed clear of Vasco Du Ronceray in the closing stages of the Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle to win with aplomb and cement his place in the four-year-old market.

Having set a decent gallop he duly picked up for his jockey's urgings and looks like there's a lot of improvement to come over the next few months and he could well be a big contender in the opening contest of day four of the Festival.

Don Cossack

Bookmakers were reluctant to trim Don Cossack's odds for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but you couldn't help but be impressed by his facile success on his hurdling debut at Navan at the end of November, as he duly coasted clear in the closing stages.

The most eyecatching part of his victory was his ability over the hurdles and you have to be a decent jumper if you are to win at the Cheltenham Festival, so it should be interesting to see him line up in the Navan Novice hurdle next as he looks to continue up the hurdling ranks.

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