Five Handicap Horses To Follow Over The Jumps In The 2022/23 Season

James Mackie

Eric Bloodaxe

The first horse we are putting up as a handicapper to follow over the jumps this season is the now Gordon Elliott trained Eric Bloodaxe who has moved from Joseph O'Brien's yard ahead of this season.

A very smart type in bumpers, the Gigginstown owned gelding was unbeaten on his first two starts showing some nice form but then lost his unbeaten record at the Dublin Racing Festival on the Grade Two Goffs Future Stars bumper.

Missing a season due a setback he had one run in the 2020/21 season when fourth in a bumper containing runners like Kilcruit and Sir Gerhard.

Sent over hurdles last term he got off the mark on debut in November bolting up by eight lengths over 2m3f and off the back of that he was stepped up to Grade Two company when only beaten by the smart Ginto.

A good winner at Limerick over Christmas in a Grade Two on heavy ground he then fell off the boil in better company not beating a runner home at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Nathaniel Lacy Grade One and then in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham festival he also ran no race.

Last seen in April last year when finishing second on handicap debut over three miles he now sees himself on a mark of 137.

He might be one for a plot job at the bigger festivals throughout the season but off his current mark and potentially lower, he looks one to keep on side throughout the term.

Could Talkaboutit

A British trained horse that could be one for handicaps this season looks to be the Joe Tizzard trained Could Talkaboutit who is set to go chasing this season and could make a mockery of his mark of 123.

The yard last season mentioned they were quite fond of this horse and they looked to have been saving him for this season with the gelding being very lightly raced last term.

Making his debut in October in a bumper he was sixth in an average event but he was then sent hurdling in the new year going to Taunton in January and was fourth staying on well in the final furlong.

Up to 2m3f he progressed nicely to finish second behind the smart juvenile Doctor Parnassus for Dan Skelton and then when last seen in March at Wincanton on his first try of 2m4f, he went on to get off the mark.

He looks a very progressive type that should improve massively for the step up to fences and his current mark could be a gift.

Autonomous Cloud

Next up is the Fergal O'Brien trained Autonomous Cloud who moved over to the yard from the Tizzard's last season and showed enough for us to think he could go well in handicaps this term off his current mark.

A winner on bumper debut in 2020 for Colin Tizzard he then went into a smart bumper at Newbury in February 2021 and although ninth of 11, he was in behind the likes of Good Risk It All, I Like To Move It, Gelino Bello and Might I who turned out last season to be very smart hurdlers.

Sent hurdling himself on debut for O'Brien in January he was third at Leicester behind Bowtogreatness and then at Wetherby was third again in a Novices' event.

Seen one more time last term when second at Chepstow, he has been left with a mark of 116 and although he could go chasing straight away, he could well start off in a handicap over timber and he could well be thrown in off this mark.

One to watch.

Aggagio

The penultimate horse to follow in this blog is the Gary Moore trained Aggagio who has been a frequent performer on the flat this year, but could be set for a stint over hurdles in the near future.

Progressing into an 87 rated flat horse over the summer with the key being soft ground (entered Friday with Ryan Moore booked so mark could change) he is set to go back over the jumps this season.

Moore has done this in the past with plenty of horses and Aggagio looks extremely well handicapped off 108 as he only raced on good to soft once winning by eight lengths.

Seen five other times over timber all on good ground and not enjoying the conditions at all he does need everything to go right for him but he can't be ignored off 108.

Il Etait Temps

We finish with a horse who was well known in the Juvenile ranks last term but still only sitting on a mark of 137 could be thrown into handicap company this season and if so will be winning races.

Bought last year by Barnane Stud from France and moved to Ireland to be trained by Willie Mullins, the four year old has shown some superb form just bumping into some smart animals along the way.

Making his debut at the Dublin Racing Festival when third behind the superstar Vauban and Fil Dor in the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle, he was a huge eye-catcher pulling hard all the way round and still finishing his race off well.

Sent into the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival he finished a close up fourth behind the same horses and then at Punchestown was again close behind the usual suspects.

Still unsure on the plans for this horse but his mark of 137 is something to keep an eye on.

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