It's been more about quality than quantity in recent years for the Minehead trainer but with what looks like a well-balanced team for the current season, it's a fair bet that he will beat last season's tally of 73 winners.
Here are 10 horses that could contribute:
Was a shade disappointing after winning the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow last October and will start this season on a good mark. He goes particularly well at the Welsh track - form figures of 31113 - and should be backed on his reappearance in the aforementioned race. He's expected to go chasing after that and has enough pace to be effective over 2m, whilst he will stay 2m4f.
Has been one of the stable's top horses for the last couple of seasons and there could be better to come. The key to him is going right-handed and the trainer intends to keep him to Grade 2 chases as he can run in such contests without a penalty, having not won last season. The first port of call could be Ascot's Amlin Chase on November 24th before another crack at the King George (25/1 Stan James), in which he finished third last season. Has a big one in him for sure.
Was let down by some clumsy jumping over hurdles last season but still manged to win at Newbury and finish a good second to the very smart Ambion Wood at Sandown. As a point winner, he's expected to come into his own over the bigger obstacles and should have no problem landing a novice chase or two, before making a good handicapper. Wouldn't want the ground too soft.
Proved to be a star novice last season, winning his first four starts over hurdles before losing his unbeaten record at Aintree. Chasing was always going to be his game, though, and he got off to the best possible start when winning on his seasonal debut at Chepstow. His winning margin was just one and a half lengths but he idled on the run-in and just did enough - it's a similar story at home, according to Hobbs. He now heads to Cheltenham or Wincanton next and is a possible for the Feltham over Christmas. Long term, his best trip might be the intermediate distance of 2m5f, with the Jewson a likely target. It will take a good one to lower his colours over the bigger obstacles.
Formerly with Nick Williams, the 10-year-old is best fresh and is being lined up for the Old Roan Chase at Aintree, where he will meet his rivals on better terms than he would in an open handicap. Providing he gets his ground - neither too quick or too soft - he will prove hard to beat.
Roalco De Farges
This dour stayer came good at the end of last season and rounded it off in style when finishing second in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on ground that was faster than he likes. As he's a "stuffy" horse, he will likely need his first outing - pencilled in for the Badger Ales Chase on November 10th - but could be a real contender in the Welsh National over Christmas. He loves Chepstow (only once out of the frame in five starts there) and is almost certain to encounter the testing ground he needs.
Yet to race under rules after winning his only start in a point-to-point (2m4f) and could be anything. Likely to start off in a bumper before going hurdling, with Aiden Murphy, who bought him, expecting him to need further than 2m in time. The trainer likes him a lot.
A real dark horse who has been seen out on the racetrack just the once when showing plenty of promise behind stablemate Irish Buccaneer in a Chepstow bumper. He might have won that day had he been given a more enterprising ride and looks a 'good thing' for a novice when he reappears. His owner Roger Brookhouse forked out a lot of money for him at the sales and the son of Midnight Legend could pay him back with interest!
Has finished runner-up on all three of his starts under rules when looking big and backward, and should really come into his own once he tackles 2m4f+ over hurdles. Has shown a distinct liking for Chepstow (second twice) so is one to back if he returns to the Welsh venue.
Hacked up on his debut in a Chepstow bumper last October and was probably over the top when disappointing at Cheltenham in the spring. The trainer still rates him as one of his best novice hurdlers and there was a lot to like about his debut at Cheltenham when finishing second to The New One. Could meet that horse again at the Paddy Power Open meeting and would have a good chance of revenge on 2lb better terms. An exciting prospect.