Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-2014
National Hunt racing has always been my first love when it comes to horse racing and a difficult second half to the flat season from a punting point of view has only increased my appetite for the forthcoming jumps season proper.
In need of inspiration and having learned about it through following the author on Twitter (@PaulFergusonJTF) it was with great anticipation that I placed my order for Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow. I was not to be disappointed.
There are probably at present better known guides to racing but these have invariably for me come up short either geared to winning competitions or just a collection of stats that can be found elsewhere these days.
Only time will tell whether the horses highlighted prove winners or not, but it is a book that appears to have been the product of considerable research, thought and enthusiasm so often lacking from other racing guides.
The author starts with a page per horse pen picture of his 40 Leading Prospects. What is immediately noticeable that they are not a list of the usual suspects with one or two others thrown in to represent variety. Sure they all excelled last season but the author has very much an eye for the future in highlighting their strengths and possible big race targets. The RSA, Scottish National, the Mares final at Newbury, the 4 mile National Hunt Chase and Supreme Novice hurdle are among those races the Leading Prospects are likely to be aiming for.
The author then list 10 prospects from the Emerald Isle, often an unknown source of winners for those of us who sadly have to work for living.
A Stable round-up covers many of the leading stables and highlights some well-known and less well-known prospects.
Jockey Nick Schofield highlights some horses he is looking forward to riding from the likes of Jeremy Scot, Paul Nicholls Kim Bailey and Rebecca Curtis.
Meanwhile leading Irish amateur rider Jane Mangan gives her views on 8 of the best bumper horses she rode last season as well as 2 of Willie Mullins that caught her eye when she rode in opposition to them.
Next Paul names 9 horses recently bought by J P McManus, 5 of which have yet to race.
The book draws to an end with details of some seriously expensive purchases which included in last year’s corresponding chapter none other than the Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill.
As if that was not enough food for thought the book ends with the views of 3 racing experts who discuss amongst other things the likelihood of Sprinter Sacre and Master Bob retaining their crowns.
At £9.95 including P&P from C.C Publishing the book represents very good value and I’m sure will prove (as in previous years) a more than useful guide to the season ahead and is one I am more than happy to recommend to fellow National Hunt fans.