The Tote Ten To Follow is back and there will be thousands of people trying to claim a share of the £250,000 in prize-money. We’ve put together a runner-by-runner guide to the game and will be giving you our views on 50 runners each day. Here is the final part.
Best of the British runners when fourth in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase. Pulled up on seasonal return and that was disappointing but better can be expected next time.
Verdict: still young and has potential
Had a good first season over fences but struggled last time around and has nothing in the last 12 months to recommend him.
Verdict:quickly ruled out
Loves a marathon stamina test and the type to run in some of the nationals this season.
Verdict:not worth considering
Didn’t really take to chasing last season but bounced back to his best over hurdles with a good victory in a GRade 2 at Wetherby last time. Looks likely to be kept over the smaller obstacles this season and a contender in the staying hurdle decision.
Verdict:one to consider
Consistent handicapper through the years but seems to have lost his form this season. Eligible for veterans’ chases and could surely win one of them.
Verdict:could be past his peak
Ready to step up to Graded company after impressing at Haydock last weekend. That was his third win in his last four starts and he would have likely won the other had he stood up. No idea as to the ceiling of his ability.
Won a big Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Sandown at the end of last season. Been sent over fences this season and disappointed on first run back. Interesting to see if connections persevere over the bigger obstacles.
Verdict:we’d be tempted to put him back over hurdles
Superb winner of the King George in 2016 but has not been seen in the winner’s enclosure since with his career plagued by injury. Connections reportedly keen to keep him over hurdles this year and he would enter the stayers’ hurdle picture if beating Paisley Park at Newbury this afternoon.
Verdict:Former great who is odds against to ascend to top again
Finished second in the Supreme Novices’ and hopes were high that he’s take top order over fences this season. Been well beaten in first two chase starts with his jumping looking awkward and any pre-season confidence in him has diminished.
Verdict:disappointed with performances this season
Disappointed when a well-backed favourite for the Ladbrokes Trophy last year and his form has deteriorated since. Hasn’t got within 30 lengths of the winner in his last three runs and seems to have lost all form.
Verdict what a difference a year make
Looks like he could be one of Britain’s best novice hurdlers this season after following up a Grade 2 win on his hurdles debut with another win at the same level at Cheltenham. Looks more than capable of winning a Grade 1 and all roads lead the Festival in March.
Verdict: should be high up the pecking order
What an amazing terrier. Won the Triumph Hurdle in 2014 and an amazing winner of the last two Grand Nationals. Everybody should be hoping he becomes the first horse to win three Grand Nationals in a row but he’s suffered a slight injury and will not be seen out until the new year.
Verdict:The transfer window is tailor-made to include him
Well beaten in two chase starts this season and makes limited appeal on that evidence.
Verdict: you’ll be on your own if you select him
Decent over hurdles but has already won her first two chase starts and looks well placed to take advantage of the mares’ programme in Ireland.
Verdict: will continue to rack up points against her own sex
Popular handicapper but now races off a career-high mark over hurdles after a string of good runs. Consistent but may struggle to continue getting his head in front.
Verdict:difficult to recommend
Won on his chase debut at Fontwell but described as fragile to train by Dan Skelton and he’s already been forced to miss an intended engagement at Wetherby in November. Not sure of his fitness and holds no upcoming entries.
Verdict:fragility is a no-no in this competition
Beat Roksana well on his seasonal return over hurdles and that looks to be an ideal prep for a return to fences. Rumoured to be heading to the Peterborough Chase next and he might take a lot of beating as he’s high-class on his day.
Verdict: will pick up points if staying fit
Admirable young chaser but has yet to prove he can cut it at the highest level and you need a chaser running and winning in Grade 1s to make a splash in this competition.
Verdict: just below top class
Verdict:should include if you think he’s up to winning at the highest level
Only four so gets weight allowance in novice chases and won a really hot race on his chase debut at Warwick this month. Jumps well and looks the type who will continue to progress over fences.
Verdict:one to keep in the back of your mind.
Never going to challenge the very best over fences but might be up to winning a couple of races at Graded level.
Verdict:we know how good he is and that’s enough to leave him out
Was badly hampered in the Troytown Chase before pulling up last time but his chase form last season entitles him to continue to run well in all the big handicaps. Keep an eye out when the money is down.
Verdict:might be better following the gamble on the day it comes than including him here
Was a really exciting chaser when last seen but has been off the track for more than a year and holds no upcoming entries.
Verdict: no idea where or when we’ll see him next
Disappointed his trainer Paul Nicholls when hanging left before pulling up on his comeback run at Chepstow. Nicholls has said that run was a mystery but the horse holds no upcoming entries and we would need proof of wellbeing to consider him.
Verdict: can’t be sure that poor run was a one-off
Has won three times around Chepstow and is improving with every run over fences. Given his fondness for the Welsh track it would be no surprise to see him running a huge race in the Wesh National just after Christmas.
Verdict:A staying chaser who could feature in your list
Verdict:not one for this given scheduled absence
Loves the Aintree fences but failed to stay the Grand National trip last season. Don’t be surprised to see him over the national fences in the Grand Sefton or the Becher Chase and he should run well in that.
Verdict:can’t include but watch out for him when he runs at Aintree
Ran well for a long way in a Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Haydock last time just getting tired late on. Suspect he’s in for a good season at around 2m4f.
Verdict: will be contesting hot races so reluctantly rule him out
A true legend of the game. Has won ten Grade 1s and always gives his all. Set to start his season in the Tingle Creek at Sandown next weekend but will; turn 12 in the new year and 12-year-olds just don’t win races at the highest level.
Verdict:glad to see him again but vulnerable to young guns
In good form when last season and finished second to Gold Cup outsider Vinndication in November last year. Hasn’t been seen since and holds no upcoming entries.
Verdict:off track for more than a year so easy to exclude
Another admirable veteran who turns 12 on New Year’s Day. Won fourth Grade 1 at Punchestown in the spring and made a decent return this season but can hardly be described as improving.
Verdict:another who may struggle against the young brigade
Finished runner-up in four Grade 1 novice chases last season and handicap mark seems to have suffered as a result. Was well beaten in BetVictor Gold Cup last time and could be too high in the weights in handicaps and just below the best at Graded level.
Verdict:consistent but hard to see him winning races
Well beaten in the Grand National and has reverted to hurdles this season, winning at Ascot on his comeback. Connections seem keen to keep him over the smaller obstacles and interesting he’s eligible for novice hurdles.
Verdict: plenty of experience for a novice hurdler
Talented mare who beat stablemate Buveur D’Air to win the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton last year. Needs relatively dry winter to be seen at her best and not effective on soft ground.
Verdict:need to be a long-range weather forecaster to select her
Improving chaser and many people fancy him to make up into a Gold Cup contender. Extremely impressive in an Ascot handicap chase on his comeback and you can expect to see him in Graded company next time.
Verdict:yet to reach his peak and this staying chaser should be considered
Has run some huge races in his career but fell at the first when heavily fancied for this year’s Grand National. Not hard to imagine that he’ll be given another chance at Aintree and suspicion he still has a big race left in him.
Verdict: could win a big one this year
Could be an interesting horse if connections take up the option to put him back over fences after some decent efforts over hurdles. If they do, it does not take the biggest imagination to see him turn into a RSA Chase hopeful.
Verdict:key to him is if he goes back over fences. Might be a big ‘if’
Likely to step up in trip this season and after winning a Grade 1 novice chase at Fairyhouse over 2m4f last season. That means he’ll be coming up against some big horses in the staying chase division and he’ll need to improve if he is to land another big one. Holds an entry in the King George.
Verdict: lively outsider for Grade 1 honours
Beat an ageing Cue Card to win a Grade 1 at Ascot in February 2018 but then not seen until unseating in the King George and has since been thrashed by Cyrname and Min. Has spent plenty of time off the track with minor injuries and will need to prove he can still cut it with the best when he returns.
Verdict:questions to answer as he gets pitched back into top company
Staying chaser soon to turn 11 and worrying when one of his age hasn’t been seen out since February and holds no upcoming entries.
Verdict:quickly ruled out
Coming back after a great year in which he won the Becher Chase and finished fourth in the Grand National. May have pulled up on return but expect him to follow the same path as last year.
Verdict:Becher and National could again be on the agenda
Decent handicapper who won his last start at Taunton but doesn’t appeal as the type to rack up a sequence.
Pulled up in last season’s Grand National but will probably again be readied for a tilt at Aintree. Out with minor injury at the moment and will not be seen until the spring.
Verdict:Out for a while and makes no appeal
Ran well to finish third in the BetVictor Gold Cup last time. He looks capable of winning a decent handicap off his mark possibly back over two miles.
Verdict:could win nice race but that not enough for this competition
Entered at Newbury on Friday and needs decent ground to be at his best. Record on good ground reads 22211P; on ground with the word soft featuring in the description it’s 314P7.
Verdict: can’t pick a horse who is clearly reliant on certain ground conditions
Finally put it together over fences last time to get his head in front for the first time in nearly two years. Could well see him in the Ladbrokes Trophy this weekend and would not be out of it if taking up his entry.
Verdict:could strike while iron is hot in first bonus race
Won on his last start at Ludlow but is an infrequent winner. No chance of winning a big one and unlikely to rack up a sequence.
Verdict:not one to rely on
Another due to run today. Been given wind surgery in the summer and can be expected to improve this year.
Verdict: likely to be seen to good effect this year but not talented enough to include
Fell when looking the likely winner at Wincanton on his comeback but failed to build on that promise when pulling up in the Badger Beers Trophy last time. Difficult to know where he stands now.
Verdict:questions to answer. One of which is will he win this season?
Versatile and has won the Northumberland Plate on the Flat. Could have bumped into a potential superstar in Mister Tommytucker when second on his chasing debut. Still races to be won with him over fences.
Verdict:he’ll pick up a few points
Has plenty of ability and seems to be progressing well in novice chases this season. Looks to have the engine to be competitive in some of the better races around.
Verdict:one to consider
Won a point-to-point but yet to appear under rules for trainer Gordon Elliott. Likely to start off in bumpers and could take high rank in that sphere.
Verdict:bumper horses not the type to win huge points in this competition
Probably had his day in the sun in March when he won the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Subsequently finished fourth in Grade 1 stayers’ hurdle at Aintree. Might be too high in weights to win another big handicap and turns ten in the new year.
Verdict:difficult to see him repeating last season’s success
If this horse was trained by someone perhaps more well known than Brian Ellison, he’d be a lot shorter in the markets for top races at the Cheltenham Festival. Won his first two chases by a combined 33 lengths and really looking forward to him taking on some big guns soon.
Verdict:suspicion he could be among the best novices around
Beat subsequent Cheltenham winner A Plus Tard at the start of this year but has looked a little disappointing since and may struggle to win handicaps off this mark judged on his last run in the Troytown Chase.
Verdict:not for us
Looked a hugely promising mare on soft/heavy ground last winter and those look to be her optimum conditions judged on her run at Punchestown on better going in May. A wet winter could see her take high rank among her own sex.
Verdict:one to go to war with in the mares’ division
Won two big-field handicap hurdles when well backed at the end of last year. Off the track since disappointing in February and unsure as to plans this year. Given his connections, the market will always be a good guide to his chances.
Verdict:don’t include him but keep an eye out for any money when he runs
Described by his trainer Paul Nicholls as “a member of the fat boys club” and he reportedly takes a lot of getting fit. Disappointed in first two starts this season but will presumably improve with racing.
Verdict:ruled out on basis of two poor starts this season
Has joined Paul Nicholls from Venetia Williams and been given a wind operation since joining the team at Ditcheat. If that has the desired effect he could well have a chance in the Welsh National, in which he finished third last year.
Verdict:could consider if you have faith in wind ops
Improving novice chaser last season but has yet to make seasonal return and holds no upcoming entries.
Verdict:wellbeing must be taken on trust
Has been frustrating since winning the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017. Has won just once since but is an interesting contender if taking his chance in the Ladbrokes Trophy this weekend
Verdict: clearly has huge engine and still capable of winning big race
Beat leading Ladbrokes trophy contender On The Blind Side by nine lengths when last seen over jumps in April. Since ran on the Flat at Royal Ascot but better can be expected when he returns to the track.
Verdict:disappointing he’s not been out yet but one to watch on his return
Interesting to see just how inconsistent he is with his form figures reading 618101P16. That suggests he’s a certainty to win next time.
Verdict:inconsistency not ideal for this competition
Improving rapidly when last season in Ireland and we are really looking forward to him making his return for Emmet Mullins. Could envision him making up into a leading handicapper or possibly better
Verdict:potential dark horse to consider