The 2023/24 National Hunt season is in full swing now, as regular visitors to Stratford Racecourse will know. The major stables will be planning to send their best horses out for their seasonal reappearances in either October or November.
Here is a look at three horses that should be set for big campaigns, particularly during the major meetings on the National Hunt calendar.
Scottish-based chaser Corach Rambler ended last season with victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase, the Grand National. Lucinda Russell’s horse is the 16/1 favourite in the horse racing odds for the race in 2024. Should he prevail again in Liverpool, he will join a small club of horses that have retained their crown in the race, the most recent of which is Tiger Roll.
As the horse racing results show, it was a fantastic season for the nine-year-old in the 2022/23 campaign as he also won at the Cheltenham Festival in the Ultima Handicap Chase. He stayed on powerfully up the hill at Prestbury Park in the 3m1f contest, which has become a well recognized prep race for Aintree in recent years.
The nine-year-old now has an official rating of 159, which indicates he could be a strong contender for the King George VI Chase and arguably even the Cheltenham Gold Cup before heading to Aintree in April. Only one horse, however, has won both races in the same season – Golden Miller, in 1934.
With seven wins from seven starts under rules, Constitution Hill has yet to suffer defeat. He won the biggest race of his career so far when he landed the Champion Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
The bad news for Constitution Hill’s rivals is that he may not have stopped improving yet. Nicky Henderson’s hurdler has a lot of options over the next few years. He could stay over hurdles and dominate the 2m division, while connections of the star must also be considering whether to switch to fences, which will offer a fresh and equally exciting challenge.
The six-time Grade I winner showed how versatile he was over 2m and 2m4f at the back end of last season. He is going to be an exciting horse to watch wherever he turns up in the latest campaign.
This Irish chaser was one of the last season’s leading novices in the UK and Ireland. He won the Arkle Chase back in March, his fourth victory over fences. The six-year-old is set to step out of novice company this year and he will take on the leading 2m chasers in his division.