Bet UK National Hunt Preview
As the flat season draws to a close, the UK horse racing just keeps on coming here at Bet UK as we glide straight into the National Hunt season. For the next few months, we’ll have all of the UK horse racing betting odds, so whether your preference is steeplechase fences or hurdles, you will be able to find the top online betting markets for the main courses across the UK and Ireland.
Remember at Bet UK as well as offering all of the top horse racing betting markets for the big festivals including Aintree and Cheltenham, and we also offer the odds on all horse racing betting for each meeting, including Ayr, Chepstow and Wetherby.
What are the biggest national hunt meetings in the UK?
Even though there will be horse racing every day across the UK (except the 23rd, 24th and 25th December), there are still some meetings that stand out from the crowd, and we’ve listed the key dates that our punters should keep their eyes peeled for.
12-14th November - The November Meeting, Cheltenham 20th November - Betfair Chase Day, Haydock 4th December - Tingle Creek Chase, Sandown 10th - 11th December - International Meeting, Cheltenham 26th December - King George VI Chase, Kempton 27th December - Welsh Grand National, Chepstow 1st January -New Year Meeting, Cheltenham 22nd January - Clarence House Chase, Ascot 29th January - Trials Meeting, Cheltenham 19th February - Betfair Ascot Chase, Ascot 15th March - 18th March - Cheltenham Festival, Cheltenham 1st - 2nd April - Scottish Grand National, Ayr 7th - 9th April - Grand National Meeting, Aintree
Top Races to follow during the National Hunt Season
Throughout the National Hunt season, there are key races that will play a part for those later in the season. Starting with the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November, normally a set up for The King George VI Chase, this race was won in 2020 by Bristol De Mai. It’s also been a race where Cue Card, Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti have made an impact.
Next on the radar is The King George VI Chase, which is part of a bigger meeting at Kempton across the Christmas period. A Grade 1, which is a must-have for the top three-mile chasers, it’s Frodon and Bryony Frost who took an unlikely victory here last year, but Might Bite, Thistlecrack and Cue Card have also won this race.
Before heading to Cheltenham, it’s the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot, where runners will try and get in one final prep race, especially if they are going to races such as the Gold Cup or the Queen Mother Champions Chase. Won in 2021 by First Flow, Politologue, Altior, and Un De Sceaux have also featured here.
Heading into March, it’s the Cheltenham Festival that is on the list of every trainer to grab a win. We’ve got all the top races listed on our Cheltenham Betting Tips page, and the final big meeting of UK horse racing jumps season is Aintree.
Horses to Watch During the National Hunt Season
Clan Des Obeaux
When looking ahead to the biggest races in the calendar, there are always horses who will stand out from the others, and for The King George VI Chase, that is Clan Des Obeaux. Normally a race the Irish horses avoid due to the Leopardstown Festival, we suspect that Paul Nicholls-trained horses will once again return for the chance to take a third victory in this race. Having won this race twice already in his career, we suspect he’ll head straight to Kempton and then be kept in bubble wrap until the Cheltenham Festival.
When it comes to runners from Ireland who we expect to continue their unbeatable form, then we can’t look past Honeysuckle. Trained by Henry De Bromhead, she is unbeaten in 13 career races, two of them coming at the Cheltenham Festival in the Mares Hurdle and Champion Hurdle. We’re unsure where she’ll make her seasonal reappearance yet, but given her races in previous seasons, we think it will be the Hatton Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
When looking at the stable of Nicky Henderson, the one name that stands out the most is Shishkin. Unbeaten in five runs last season, including the Cheltenham Festival, she was also one of our horses to watch in UK horse racing betting tips. We expect another strong season from Shishkin, who could make his reappearance over chase fences at Kempton before heading to the King George VI meeting in December.
Al Boum Photo
Former Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo is rarely seen on a racecourse before January. However, given his defeat in the 2021 renewal of the Gold Cup, we think he’ll get much more racing this season to give him more preparation, so it could be a run at Haydock where we first see him or the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown. Either way, it means a longer campaign for the horse, who is currently 20/1 in the betting for Cheltenham.
Another Henry De Bromhead runner who is expected to run well this season is hurdle champion, Bob Olinger. A winner in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, he’s set to go chasing this year and will most likely head to the Festival for a run in the Marsh Novices Chase. Rachel Blackmore will probably be his partner once again as she’s back to winning ways following her recovery from injury.
Want to know more about the going conditions and race types you’re likely to encounter across the national hunt season? Why not take a look at our National Hunt Betting Guide, where you’ll also find hints and tips from former jockeys and all of the terms you’ll need to place a bet on the upcoming meetings across the UK horse racing calendar.