Your guide to the 2021-22 Jumps annuals
Your guide to the 2021-22 Jumps annuals
They’re back – the jumps annuals for the new National Hunt season, and we look at what they have to offer.
As well as the four established titles, we’ve also added this year’s new entry, the Big Jump Off supplement, published with the Racing Post and now available separately.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers to Follow 2021-2022
Paul Ferguson’s guide pinpoints horses from a variety of angles. There are his 40 leading prospects, with a nice touch of highlighting the optimum distance and going for each one. Adding to the look of each page are the colours of the respective entries.
Then Ferguson makes his pick of the main contenders from some 70 British and Irish yards, flagging over 200 horses of interest.
More is then said about 20 horses from Ireland, a feature very much dominated by Willie Mullins. And you can add to that graduates from point-to-pointing.
Eleven jockeys give their thoughts on upwards of 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.
New to this edition are the thoughts of eight pundits from the specialist racing channels and websites.
Among other features, in this the 15th edition, is detailed trends analysis of a dozen big races.
In total, you’ve some 300 horses coming under the microscope, with thoughtful assessment of each, all of which is 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 pages are lavishly illustrated, but this leads to a design problem where black text printed over the dark background of some photographs is difficult to read.
Five of the Post’s experts give their thoughts on the new season, with Nick Watts looking at some ante-post markets, Paul Kealy with early views on the Cheltenham Festival, Richard Birch with 10 horses to follow and Tom Collins discussing jockeys and trainers. Brian Sheerin 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.
All in all, this is well produced package repeating a tried and tested formula to seek out betting success for the new season.
Racing Post Guide to the Jumps 2021-2022, Racing Post, £12.99
Timeform Horses to Follow 2021-2022 Jumps Season
Never has such a wealth of information been made so difficult to read.
The Timeform guide starts off well enough with its team of experts’ 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 view of five of the biggest jump races.
But once you get to the second half of the guide, where 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, the use of paragraphs is jettisoned.
Large slabs of grey type, extending the full width of the page, make reading difficult. It’s a shame because there’s some useful content that could be so much better presented.
And, when you want to read-up about a specific runner, 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 2021-2022 Jumps Season, Timeform, £10.95
100 Winners – jumpers to follow 2021/22
Of this year’s guides, this is the most modest but don’t let that put you off.
It does what is says on the tin – almost. It will take the entire season to find out if the book either produces 100 winners or if all 100 horses win.
But what it does do is to present 100 horses thought capable of winning, each one summarised in about 120 words. And it does come up with a good haul of winners, with last year’s edition finding 25 horses who won Grade 1 races.
It may be modestly produced, but this pocket-sized guide is a no-nonsense contribution to the information available for finding winners over the sticks and, for that, it has a good track record
100 Winners – jumpers to follow 2021/22, Raceform, £5.99
The Big Jump Off
Making its debut appearance, but probably not its last, is the Racing Post’s Big Jump Off. It emulates the supplements produced by the Post for football, and has already been published with the paper, with copies now available to be purchased separately.
It includes a host of features from the Post’s top contributors and includes the Expert Jury format to tackle a number of issues surrounding Jump racing, not least the prospect of a five-day Cheltenham Festival.
There’s a detailed study of trainer prospects and a Behind the Enemy Lines view from the bookmakers.
But where it has a unique approach is a series of double-page spreads looking ahead at the season’s key meetings, with excellent use of graphics, followed by the same treatment for the different divisions of hurdlers and chasers. Add to that 50 horses to follow and you have 72 pages of exceptional value.
The Big Jump Off, Racing Post, £3.50
♦ Your direct link to Doug Campbell’s 50 National Hunt Horses to Follow 2021-22 http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-11g