Horse Racing National Hunt Specials: Hughes, Nicholls and Shishkin popular for more success

Paul Nicholls
Betfair ambassador Paul Nicholls is favourite to be top trainer

With the return of the National Hunt season Nathan Joyes analyses the key markets, including who will emerge as the top jockey and trainer, as well as star horses going head to head once more.

"Nicholls' army of horses include the likes of Clan Des Obeaux, Frodon, Cyrname and Monmiral will all be in action over the coming months."

With the National Hunt season underway, Betfair has a host of antepost markets and specials which are worth exploring.

Top Jockey: Brain Hughes heavy favourite

Brian Hughes is almost expected to defend this title, currently priced as the 4/11 favourite. His closest competitor, Harry Skelton, is 7/2 in the market, with both jockeys considerably clear of the others.

Hughes is often criticised for being selective with his rides when he chooses to sidestep big meetings in order to add to his tally. That's reflected in his price.

Nevertheless, it's always an intriguing battle between Hughes and Skelton, and we can only hope for a similar end to the season as we saw on the flat with Oisin Murphy and William Buick.

Elsewhere, Harry Cobden is third in the market at 10/1, with Sam Twiston-Davies in fourth priced at 12/1.

Bryony Frost, who won the King George with Frodon last season, is currently 100/1 to win the title.

Top Trainer: Betfair Ambassador leads the way

Paul Nicholls is the hot favourite to land the top trainer at 2/5, with Nicky Henderson sitting second in the market at 5/2, having been victorious in the 2019/20 campaign.

Nicholls' army of horses include the likes of Clan Des Obeaux, Frodon, Cyrname and Monmiral will all be in action over the coming months.

Frodon 1280.jpg

Read about Paul Nicholls' Season Preview right here.

Dan Skelton is the third favourite at 11/2, with Jonjo O'Neil, Alan King and Nigel Twiston-Davies all massive outsiders at 100/1.

Shiskin to remain unbeaten?

Shiskin ran out a ready winner in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival at rather skinny odds due a reduced field as a direct result of the Covid pandemic.

Nicky Henderson's seven-year-old then went on to win at Aintree the following month at even shorter odds, rounding off a rather impressive campaign with five wins, despite never really being tested.


This campaign should be tougher for Shiskin, although you can back him to go unbeaten once more on the Betfair Sportsbook at 10/3, if he runs at least three times.

Other specials of interest

Honeysuckle was a mare who had one of the most impressive campaigns last season and, like Shishkin, went unbeaten and was a popular winner at the Cheltenham Festival when landing the Champion Hurdle.


She can be backed to go unbeaten once more, if running three times or more, at 4/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook.

Take a look at our other unbeaten specials from horses which flourished last campaign:

Bob Olinger to go unbeaten this season: 11/2
Allaho to go unbeaten this season: 14/1
Envoi Allen to go unbeaten this season: 16/1


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