Allen can dominate the novice division – Tom Collins with his horses to include
Enter the Tote Ten To Follow here
Cover all the bases and reap the rewards. It took a fair while to cut down my 31-strong shortlist for the much-anticipated competition (how much easier would it be if it was 15 to follow?) but hopes are high that the ten selected will accumulate a fair amount of points.
The strategy is four hurdlers and six chasers – you need more of the latter given the bonus points structure – and I will start with the name that should be the first on everyone's list, which is Paisley Park.
Emma Lavelle's stable star won all five starts last season, including twice at Grade 1 level, and hopes are high he can dominate the staying hurdling division once again.
It's annoying that he runs on Friday (one day before the competition starts), though, as that's a probable ten points down the drain!
The Champion Hurdle and Irish Champion Hurdle have been selected as bonus races and it wouldn't surprise me if Willie Mullins targeted both contests with Klassical Dream, who must hold serious claims if sharpening up for his first run back when overturned at short odds. He is better than that showing.Benie Des Dieux, providing she stays healthy. She's the best hurdling mare about and would be unbeaten for Mullins had she not crashed out at the last in the Mares' Hurdle last season. That will be her target once again.
Gordon Elliott's Envoi Allen should dominate the novice division. The Champion Bumper winner made a sparkling hurdling debut at Down Royal and should make his mark at Grade 1 level.
Mullins and Elliott are strongly featured in my chasers as well, as Chacun Pour Soi and Real Steel should have huge seasons for the former, while I'm hoping the rejuvenated Samcro can land the JLT in March.
Tiger Roll was initially in my list but he is set to have a light campaign. Therefore he was substituted by Fakir D'oudairies, who looks a live Arkle contender and should have a fair few starts in novice chases.
Tom Collins' Ten To Follow
Benie Des Dieux
Chacun Pour Soi
Defi Du Seuil
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