Your guide to the 2020-21 jumps annuals
Your guide to the 2020-21 jumps annuals
We have a non-runner this year, with the decision made to scratch the Racing & Football Outlook Jumps Racing Guide for 2020-21. Maybe next year say the publishers. And the Racing Post guide was somewhat slowly away and is only now making its way to punters. With the Outlook guide missing, we’ve added a new guide (for us), 100 Winners – jumpers to follow 2020-21.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers to Follow 2020-2021
Paul Ferguson’s guide pinpoints horses from a variety of angles. There are his forty leading prospects, with a nice touch of highlighting the optimum distance and going for each one.
Then Ferguson makes his pick of the main contenders from over 60 British yards, flagging over 200 horses of interest. A further 15 horses are highlighted from Irish yards. And you can add to that recruits from point-to-pointing.
Ten jockeys give their thoughts on eighty horses they’re looking forward to riding, albeit a degree of duplication starts to creep in across the leading prospects and the stables picks.
Rounding everything off, in this the 14th edition of Ferguson’s guide, is a feature providing detailed trends analysis of a dozen big races.
It’s a worthwhile addition and the only criticism would be that more races at the expense of some of the commentary would be even more useful.
Nevertheless, you’ve some 300 horses coming under the microscope, with thoughtful assessment of each that’s going to be of considerable help in finding winners this winter.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers to Follow 2020-2021, Weatherbys, £11.95
Racing Post Guide to the Jumps 2020-2021
No less than 400 horses make it into the Racing Post’s list of key runners for the new season.
To fit them all in, there are 50-word summaries and form summaries for each. A lot of information is squeezed into the pithy style and words or are not wasted. And the design has improved so that the black text printed over the dark background of photographs, making it difficult to read, has all but but disappeared.
What has also disappeared, previously intermingled in the key horse entries, are Five to Watch from the Post’s team of tipsters. But five of the Post’s experts still get space to give their thoughts on the new, with Nick Watts looking at some ante-post markets, Paul Kealy with early views on the Cheltenham Festival, Richard Birch on “surefire winners” away from the big meetings, and Tom Collins discusses horses for courses. Richard Forristal provides the Irish angle.
The guide is big on trainers, with extensive features on 10 of the top jump handlers. As well as identifying the stable stars, there are detailed stats on each trainer’s performance, detailing types of races, distance, when horses run, and last season’s overall record.
Racing Post Guide to the Jumps 2020-2021, Racing Post, £12.99
Timeform Horses to Follow 2020-2021 Jumps Season
Timeform’s team of experts have put together a list of 50 horses to follow, with 10 singled out for anyone who wants to keep tabs on a shorter list.
Needless to say, the Timeform rating is provided for each horse and, as well as a write-up for each horse, entries end with a helpful conclusion about the horse’s prospects. The same treatment is given to 10 Irish-trained horses.
Ten trainers nominate a stable star, handicapper and a dark horse, and, still looking ahead, there’s an ante-post look at five of the biggest jump races.
Moving to the second half of the guide, and there’s a detailed race-by-race review of last season’s Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals, and the pick of last season’s top performers.
Given that the collection of horses to follow is presented on an easily accessible horse-by-horse basis, the 2020/21 review adopts a lengthy narrative format, and the occasional paragraph break wouldn’t go amiss.
It’s valuable reading, but not so convenient when you want to read-up about a specific runner. Here the index should help, but some horses get four or five index entries and when you turn to the referenced page, it might be the horse is only mentioned in passing.
There’s a list of Timeform’s Top 100 in rating order (maybe alphabetical order would be better), and the stats also list, by trainer, horses thought to be capable of much better form. Also, for trainers, are the leading performers at the various jumps tracks. Where the Timeform guide scores is in the quality of its horse-by-horse assessment – but, the rest of the book doesn’t work quite so well.
Timeform Horses to Follow 2020-2021 Jumps Season, Timeform, £10.99
100 Winners – jumpers to follow 2020/21
Now in its 57th year, it’s the oldest of the guides and also the most modest – a 48-page pocket-sized booklet.
It could be said it does what’s on the tin. It presents 100 horses, each one summarised in about 120 words.
The only thing preventing it from doing exactly what’s on the tin, is the “winners” element, but publishers Raceform boast a number of decent-priced success last season.
Strictly speaking there are going to be winners, it’s more a matter of how many and if they turn profit.
100 Winners – jumpers to follow 2020/21, Raceform, £5.99