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One thing is for certain, the 2020/21 Jumps season is going to be a season like no other.
We start it with crowds still banned from racecourses in the UK and Ireland and with the prospect of a length wait until the racecourse experience gets back to anything like what it was in the early months of the year – before the shadow of Covid-19 hung over all sports events.
For many racing fans, the bulk of the next season is likely to be viewed from the familiar four walls of home and our role in the sport is to provide you with the very best insight, analysis and data here on attheraces.com.
Fortunately there is plenty to look forward to. Over hurdles we have a new champion in the form of Epatante, who completed the Christmas Hurdle – Champion Hurdle double with two authoritative wins under the now retired Barry Geraghty, whilst the lightly-raced Lisnagar Oscar pulled off a shock in the stayers division, taking the crown at 50-1 on just his fourth start in open company.
More familiar names dominated over fences, where big-race stalwarts Politologue and Min bagged overdue Festival triumphs in the form of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Ryanair Chase respectively. In the blue riband itself, the Gold Cup, we saw Al Boum Photo retain his crown in a thrilling battle with Santini and Lostintranslation; setting up this season’s bid for a third title, which would equal the post-war achievements of Cottage Rake, Arkle and Best Mate.
There was plenty to enthuse over too in the novice divisions, over fences we have the prospect of seeing Champ, Minella Indo, and Samcro vernture into open company, whilst arguably the most exciting young horse in the jump racing world, Envoi Allen, is set to embark on a long-anticipated chasing career.
After all that has happened in 2020, a brush-up on the events of last season might be a good place to start with our Review whilst prospects of future success for the above are assessed by Kevin Blake in our Stars In The Spotlight section. And if you’re looking for some insightful ante-post advice for the coming season, don’t miss Mike Cattermole’s selections, which include a 50-1 fancy for the sport's most prestigious prize.
For newcomers to racing under rules, don’t miss Eoghain Ward’s stable of Ex-Irish Pointersto follow and Paul Ferguson’s News From France sections, which contain a host of promising imports that are set to appear on our shores this winter whilst we also have Liz Price’s French Jumpers feature suggesting 12 horses that you can follow over the jumps in France, when much of the action will be broadcast on Sky Sports Racing.
Fans of statistics also have plenty to feast on our Trendspotting section, which contains plenty of pointers that have gone under the radar of even the most hardcore afficionado, from revealing the most successful sires over jumps to shortlisting the key early-season races that have a history of acting as a signpost for future success.
Big race trends are covered extensively in our brilliant Stats Guide section, where Paul Jones outlines the key trends behind no less than 15 of the big handicap races over the course of the season.
Last but by no means least is our Stable Tours series, where leading trainers from the UK and Ireland outline their plans for the pick of the team. So far we have tours with Paul Nicholls, Joseph O’Brien, David Pipe, Dan Skelton and Philip Hobbs online with more to come in the second half of October.
In many ways, the 2020/21 jumps season is going to be different, but here on attheraces.com our objective remains always the same – to provide the very best insight into our wonderful sport. We hope you enjoy this site dedicated to what promises to be another great season of racing over jumps.