Five jumpers to follow for the north's emerging angel Rose Dobbin
Jumping in the north might not be as strong as it once was, but there is not just hope or talk of a fightback, there is evidence.
Donald McCain last season worked his way back into the top ten jumps trainers in Britain, while Ruth Jefferson enjoyed an important southern Grade 1 strike with Waiting Patiently in the Ascot Chase and Grand National-winning trainer Sue Smith continues to be a force.
There was also a top-level success in Ireland for Nicky Richards, who also won Cheltenham's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, and Rose Dobbin, who trains in South Hazelrigg in deepest Northumberland, had by far her best campaign with 25 winners and £203,226 pocketed in prize-money.
Former amateur rider Dobbin, whose husband Tony won the Grand National on Lord Gyllene in 1997, had spells with Nicky Henderson and James Fanshawe before setting up her yard in 2009.
She enjoyed a memorable week in February 2016 when winning a Grade 2 hurdle with Jonniesofa and landing the Eider with Rocking Blues.
Here are five horses she hopes can make headlines when the core jumps season starts.
Racing Post Rating 139 chase
Dobbin says: "The aim is for him to come back this season, hopefully around February or March time. He won first time up after a long layoff last year, so we will be looking for a nice race for him when he gets back. He is fragile so it will be touch and go, but we are hopeful. We are giving him bit more time to recover so he is still in the field at the moment. He will be scanned in November, then hopefully we can get looking towards the spring."
Dobbin says: "He had a season of two halves, his first two runs at Kelso were fantastic. Then he whipped around at the start a bit at Musselburgh, which wasn't a huge surprise because he's always been a bit quirky at home. His form dipped after that but the true reflection of his ability is what he did at Kelso, so if we can bring him back to what he showed initially, he's a bit of a machine. He could be one of the best we have, he's quirky but he's got a huge amount of ability. He will go novice chasing."
Dobbin says: "He will also go chasing. He has had a few issues with his feet and lameness but he's swimming like mad at the moment. He has come sound so hopefully we'll have him out in November."
Dobbin says: "He will stay over hurdles, we think he's got the ability to run in the good staying hurdles this season."
Dobbin says: "He had a very good season, winning at Carlisle and Doncaster. We schooled him last season and he was electric so we have been counting down since then for him going chasing. He could be quite exciting."
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