It’s not uncommon for National Hunt horses to switch codes in the summer and feature on the Flat. There is lucrative prize money on offer in the leading stayers’ division.
Here is a look at some of the best jumps horses who are likely to appear on the Flat this summer and what their main target will be.
Hurdles and chase winner Earlofthecotswolds showed how effective he can be on the Flat when he won one of the biggest races on All-Weather Finals Day at Newcastle. He was successful in the All-Weather Marathon Championships Conditions Stakes, getting the betting of a smart horse from John and Thady Gosden’s yard by a neck.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ runner is now being prepared for a shot at the most prestigious stayers race in the sport. Given how tough he was at Newcastle last time out, he is likely to be one of the Royal Ascot tips for the day three contest this year, where he is 16/1 in the betting.
It is going to be very interesting to see how the National Hunt horse fares against Trueshan, former winner Stradivarius and Kyprios in the feature race of the Royal meeting. It is being billed as one of the strongest renewals of the Ascot Gold Cup in a number of years, so he will need to be at his best to land the spoils.
Dan Skelton is a regular trainer here at Stratford, as this is one of his local tracks. The Lodge Hill man had an excellent year in the 2021/22 National Hunt campaign. One of the horses who gave him success last season is Proschema. The seven-year-old also finished second in a Grade Two contest at Wetherby.
The talented hurdler is set to appear in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle this year. The heritage handicap contest takes place over the extended 2m trip at the northeast racecourse. It is a real stamina test, which the seven-time winner should relish.
If Proschema can come out on top, Skelton will join the likes of Jonjo O’Neill, Donald McCain and Martin Pipe as National Hunt trainers who have won the “Miners’ Derby.
One of the stars of this year’s Cheltenham Festival meeting was Vauban. Willie Mullins’ juvenile prevailed in impressive fashion in the Triumph Hurdle. He then followed that up with another Grade One victory at the Punchestown Festival.
Connections of the gelding have indicated they are keen to enter their horse in some of the big Flat races this year. His first target could be the Ebor Handicap at York in August. The Irish trainer won the valuable handicap contest in 2009.
If everything goes well at the Ebor Festival, the four-year-old then may head Down Under for a shot at the richest 2m handicap race in the world, the Melbourne Cup. That’s a contest Mullins has had entries in before but has yet to win so far.
Hopefully we see all three of the above horses back over obstacles in the 2022/23 National Hunt season following success on the Flat.