This particular shortlist has predictably been super tough to nail down. There are just so many fabulous horses I’ve watched and been in awe of over the years.
But I’ve got to stick my neck out and I’m happy enough with where I’ve landed. This lot are all genuine legends of the sport.
They each contain that rare blend of serious talent, an iron will to win and did it repeatedly over a number of seasons. They’re the horses that we as riders dream of forming a partnership with.
The greatest two-mile hurdler I’ve ever seen. He had a fantastic attitude and absolutely loved the game. He held the record for the most Grade 1 race wins in history across both Jumps and Flat with 22 until that Australian freak Winx came along.
He was a horse that everyone loved to watch as he just loved a battle. When you saw him get into a scrap in the home straight you just knew that he was going to get his nose in front where it mattered.
At his brilliant best he was simply untouchable. The “Black Aeroplane” as he was known, he just dominated his rivals in a way that very few horses ever do.
His comeback from the brink of retirement to show the world he was still top dog in 2015/16 displayed how talented he was. Watching him and Nico De Boinville roar up the Cheltenham hill to take the Champion Chase was just spine-tingling.
It was an amazing story that I really enjoyed watching throughout my teenage years.
Paul Nicholls said he was as good as, if not more talented than Kauto Star! An unbelievable horse with an amazing record, the pinnacle being those four consecutive Stayers’ Hurdles.
He had size and scope; he just couldn’t take to fences too well but he certainly more than made up for it over hurdles.
One of the most dominant horses of all-time, he moved the goalposts of what people thought was possible in the staying hurdling division. The way he’d nonchalantly just pull out a little bit more whenever he got challenged was a joy to watch.
He was nicknamed “the tank”, so it’s fair to say he was an imposing beast of a horse in the flesh. His win in the 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup (now Ladbrokes Trophy) at Newbury was the best weight-carrying performance this century, in my opinion.
He wore his heart on his sleeve and that’s what I loved about him. He may not have had same amount of speed and class as Kauto, but my god he was a trier.
The Denman and Kauto clashes in the Cheltenham Gold Cups are the sort of races that everyone will remember for a long, long time. Denman’s win in 2008 showed that on his day over a long distance slog he was pretty well unbeatable.
He was my favourite horse growing up, I always really wanted him to win. He caught my imagination when I was a youngster, he was a rare talent that evokes strong memories which I’m sure he does for all jump racing fans.
Just look at his record of five King Georges, four Betfair Chases, two Cheltenham Gold Cups, two Tingle Creeks and that’s not even the full picture!
Kauto had all the assets needed to be top horse but the one that most impressed me was his incredible versatility, winning the Jump racing Triple Crown, winning Grade 1 races at two miles, two and a half miles and winning at three miles plus.
I may be biased but I think he’s probably the best racehorse I’ll see in my lifetime.