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The Big Jump Off: Get ready for the new jumps season

The National Hunt season is about to swing into full session with Cheltenham lurking this weekend and, to celebrate, bet365 and the Racing Post have produced The Big Jump Off season preview show.

The two-hour once-off show focuses on all the key talking points as the stars of the National Hunt season start to emerge from their summer slumber.

Host Dave Orton is joined by a stellar cast to discuss all the major divisions in the jumps sphere. 

With the jumps season now taking over, a reminder that you can watch every race from the UK and Ireland via the bet365 live sports streaming service

The Big Jump Off preview is available to watch on the link above, while read below for a guide to some of the fascinating content in the show.

All-star panel gathers for The Big Jump Off

Dave Orton is the man in the hosts chair for The Big Jump Off and joining him are three of the most respected judges in the lands. 

  • Paul Kealy is a long-time Racing Post pundit and tipster and a respected source for punters when it comes to making their picks.
  • Tom Segal is of course better known as Mr Pricewise at the Racing Post – the source of many a market mover and the tipster responsible for many big-priced winners in his career.
  • Johnny Dineen was the breakout star of last season on the punditry scene, largely down to his spot as co-host of the bet365-sponsored Cheltenham Festival preview show Upping The Ante with David Jennings. 
    Johnny flew across from Ireland to be part of The Big Jump Off and, whilst he was there, revealed that Upping The Ante will be back for another weekly run counting down to the Cheltenham Festival from Tuesday 14th November. 
  • bet365's very own Pat Cooney is also on hand to provide the latest odds and market information. 

The Big Jump Off big interviews

Kicking off the show, Dave Orton talks Joe Chambers and Max McNeill about their hopes for the season.

Joe is racing manager to powerhouse owner Rich Ricci and talks about some of their established stars and possible new arrivals, while Max is a leading owner in his own right with horses in training at some of the top yards in Britain and Ireland and a forthright opinion on all things jumps racing. 

Discussing the Championship divisions

The next part of the show dives into the main established divisions in the jumps code as they correlate to Cheltenham in March.

First up is Champion Hurdle division as the panel ponder whether or not anything will lay a blow on reigning champ Constitution Hill, the 4/9 favourite for more glory at Cheltenham on Tuesday 12th March. Are any of last season's novices good enough to trouble Nicky Henderson's superstar?

With two-time Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Energumene ruled out for the season by Willie Mullins, stablemate El Fabiolo is now 1/1 to inherit the crown, while Jonbon – second in the Arkle last season before winning the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown is 6/1. The team discuss what now looks a vacant throne in the two-mile chasing division. 

The Stayers' Hurdle division is next and with veteran Sire Du Berlais scoring at Cheltenham and Aintree last spring, this is another division that could be set for chance come the spring. Teahupoo was second in the Cotswolds last time but could Gordon Elliott's 6/1 chance be poised to take over a division that lacks a star?

And then there is the Gold Cup itself, where Galopin Des Champs was imperious in March for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. He was surprisingly beaten at Punchestown afterwards and is 2/1 to reign again in the Blue Riband on 15th March. The Big Jump Off panel asses the pretenders to his crown.

The panel also look into the novice hurdlers and novice chasers as they try to forecast what new names will be making headlines this jumps season.

Saving the best for last

And finally, the expert minds on The Big Jump Off will be revealing their 'Five to Follow' for the upcoming National Hunt season and also picking their 'Best Bet for the Season' as punters look to uncover some ante-post value. 

Amongst the horses cropping up in that fascinating debate is Kitty's Light – a 20/1 chance to win the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 13th April for Christian Williams. 

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