Simon Holt is renowned for his racecalling ability, but is also a long-time student of the Tote Ten to Follow. We caught up with the man in the gantry to discuss his Tote Ten to Follow for the season ahead.
Beware The Bear
This competition demands a Grand National contender and Nicky Henderson's useful stayer, a past Cheltenham Festival winner, could be the type and was being campaigned for the abandoned race last season. He has a touch of class when in the mood and usually finishes strongly.
Produced a thrilling charge up the Cheltenham hill to catch flagging rivals in the RSA Chase and could live up to his name if brushing up on his jumping technique. I would love to have seen him run in the Ladbrokes Trophy and prove himself under a big weight but, as so often nowadays, most good chasers have less imaginative programmes and it seems he will stick to conditions races.
A creditable third to his stable companion Shishkin in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March, this lovely type should have a successful career over fences, starting off at around two-and-a-half miles.
Hard not to be impressed with his almost effortless Charlie Hall victory and that success going left handed over three miles opens up a few options. It will be a head-scratcher for Harry Cobden if he's sent to the King George along with Clan Des Obeaux but the handicapper says he's the better horse and, longer term, the Gold Cup must surely be on the agenda now.
Produced her trademark turn of foot to win last season's Champion Hurdle in decisive fashion and, if in the same form, she will be hard to beat again at the top level this season.
Three excellent runs at Cheltenham over fences last season culminated in a victory at the Festival, and his reappearance Carlisle win was a performance of quality. Capable of winning a big handicap before going down the conditions chase route.
Disappointed in the King George but bounced back with a tremendous effort behind Al Boum Photo and Santini in the Gold Cup at a time when his stable, which can sometimes go through periods of inconsistency, seemed out of form. Awesome individual.
Sprinted clear at Wetherby first time out and could become a leading Stayers Hurdle contender with the advantage of her mares allowance. It looks a weak division and she should really be given her chance at Cheltenham before going on to Aintree.
Formerly a headstrong trailblazer, he is now much more professional and went close to realising his great potential when running Min to a neck in the Ryanair. That race will surely be his main target again this season and he is a Grade One winner in waiting.
Hard to leave out after his Supreme Novices victory, a horse with gears and the scope to make a smart chaser. Has reportedly schooled extremely well and will head for the Arkle if all goes well.