Balder Succes: a 14-1 shot for the Racing Post Arkle with Paddy PowerPICTURE: thejockey.co.uk
Success for Balder after clear round at Warwick
Report: Warwick, Wednesday
Anixter's Partner Day Novices' Chase (Class 3) 2m, 4yo+
THE Alan King-trained Arkle hope Balder Succes proved he was none the worse for a bad fall at Cheltenham less than three weeks ago, jumping well and powering clear to take his record over fences to two from three with a comfortable success.
Balder Succes reached a mark of 149 over hurdles, unseating in the Champion Hurdle in March when sent off a 100-1 shot.
Switched to fences he made a winning debut at Chepstow, getting the better of The Romford Pele by three-quarters of a length.
At Cheltenham a week later he was thoroughly on top when he took a crashing fall at the resited second last due to the low sun obscuring his view of the fence.
"That was just the job after Cheltenham where he was desperately unlucky to fall as the low sun was hindering him. He'd schooled well since and his jumping was very good," said King.
Balder Succes showed no signs of the fall affecting his confidence at Warwick, the track at which King ran Voy Por Ustedes in his novice chase campaign that culminated in Arkle victory, putting in several tidy leaps through the early stages.
The back straight, which sees five fences come in quick succession proved a stout test of his jumping, and one he passed with flying colours, coming out several lengths clear of his four rivals having taken a lead into the row of fences.
He wasn't totally fluent over all five, getting in close to one or two, but proved he could be clever when he had to and with the back straight successfully negotiated Robert Thornton took a look behind, saw he had Noel Fehily and Baby Mix for company and instantly showed them a clean pair of heels.
Accelerating around the home bend, Balder Succes put the race to bed in some style before meeting the last two fences on a lovely stride, finishing 11 lengths clear of Baby Mix, who himself reached a high of 149 and won the Grade 2 Adonis over hurdles.
Paddy Power reacted by cutting Balder Succes to 14-1 (from 20) for the Racing Post-sponsored Arkle at Cheltenham in March, while BetVictor were less impressed, cutting the five-year-old to 20-1 (from 25).
Balder Succes could step into Graded company for the first time over fences on his next start, with the Grade 1 Henry VIII at Sandown mentioned for his next possible target.
"He's had three quick runs now so maybe the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown will be next for him," said King. "He won't got to Cheltenham next weekend. I think this [2m] is his trip."
Balder Succes was the middle leg of a treble on the card for Alan King, who was victorious with Herod The Great, also partnered by Thornton, and Willoughby Hedge, the mount of Wayne Hutchinson.