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Arkle Chase

14:10 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-15

Winner: £102481.73

Runners: 11

Going: Good To Soft

No. of hurdles: 13

Distance: 1m7f199y

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The Sporting Life Arkle Chase Challenge Trophy, run on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, is the premier race during the jumps season for the speedier novice chasers as it is run over the minimum trip of 2m. As a result the Grade 1 presents a fierce test of accurate jumping at speed. It has been won by some of the greatest horses in the history of jump racing, including Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre and Altior, who all went on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following season.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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HORSE
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3(0)
47-231
silk
Coeur Sublime

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J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
7
11-4
151
162
Runner-up in the 2019 Triumph Hurdle for Gordon Elliott; off the mark over fences at the third attempt when landing the odds in Gowran beginners' event (2m, soft) in January, but he had finished 14l behind Riviere D'etel at Leopardstown the time before and has an uphill task on these terms.
4(0)
-B1111
silk
Edwardstone

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J: Tom Cannon
T: Alan King
8
11-4
159
174
Very useful hurdler, close fifth in last year's County; has developed into a high-class and thoroughly likeable novice chaser this season, beating War Lord by 16l in Grade 1 at Sandown (2m, good to soft) in December and readily accounting for his three rivals (including Brave Seasca) in Grade 2 at Warwick (2m, good to soft) in February; nimble jumper; may not have reached his ceiling just yet and looks a very strong contender.
2(0)
-61113
silk
Brave Seasca

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J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
7
11-4
146
163
Progressive 7yo who completed a hat-trick of handicap wins at Warwick (2m, soft) in January; found further improvement when about 6l third of four to Edwardstone in Grade 2 novice over the same C&D (good to soft) last time, but he was receiving 5lb from the winner that day and faces a tough assignment at level weights here.
9(0)
7-1121
silk
War Lord

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J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
7
11-4
149
161
Has taken well to fences, bettering his hurdles form and scoring in small fields over 2m at Newton Abbot, Carlisle and Lingfield (good to soft/heavy); however, he was beaten 16l by Edwardstone in a Grade 1 at Sandown in December and it's hard to see him playing much more than a minor role.
7(0)
14-2F1
silk
Red Rookie

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J: Tom Bellamy
T: Emma Lavelle
7
11-4
138
152
Successful in four of his seven completed races and he confirmed previous promise when getting off the mark over fences in seven-runner novice at Hereford (2m, good to soft) in January, but his form is not in the same league as that of some of these and he'd be a surprise winner.
5(0)
-52123
silk
Gabynako

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J: Keith Donoghue
T: Gavin Cromwell
7
11-4
152
164
Just two wins from 13 runs but he's already a better novice chaser than hurdler and he might have gained a Grade 1 success at Fairyhouse (2m4f, good) in November but for several mistakes late on; ran poorly on heavy ground next time; may not have shown his full hand yet but he has something to find with the principals and dropping back to 2m is a concern; tongue-tie added.
8(0)
22-513
silk
Saint Sam

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J: Sean O'Keeffe
T: W P Mullins
5
11-4
153
164
Found only one too good when favourite for last season's Fred Winter and made a smooth transition to fences with a clearcut success at Fairyhouse (2m1f, soft) in January; forced a strong pace and kept on well when third to Blue Lord and Riviere D'etel in the Irish Arkle next time; bit to find with those rivals but he's upwardly mobile and commands plenty of respect.
11(0)
-11122
silk
Riviere D'etel

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J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
5
10-11
150
170
Still a work in progress when seventh in last year's Fred Winter but she has bloomed over fences this season and taken her form to a much higher level; recorded three clearcut wins towards the end of 2021 and she looked unfortunate not to take the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown (2m1f, yielding) last time, rallying after a blunder at the final fence; normally a fine jumper and she can turn the tables on Blue Lord, who beat her narrowly that day.
6(0)
13-31F
silk
Haut En Couleurs

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J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
5
11-4
152
165
Low-mileage 5yo who was third in the 2021 Triumph Hurdle (2m1f, good to soft) on just his second outing; made a winning start over fences at Leopardstown (1-3, jumped left on occasions) just after Christmas before falling early on in the Irish Arkle there (100-30); hard to pin down but the Triumph run suggests he could be high class and he's the least exposed runner in the field.
10(0)
2-4313
silk
Magic Daze

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J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: Henry De Bromhead
6
10-11
138
154
Lightly raced pace-setting 6yo with untapped potential, having only her third start when second in the mares' novice hurdle at last year's Festival; built on a promising chasing debut when routing a thin field at Cork (2m1f, soft) in November; beaten at odds-on in Grade 2 mares' event over the same C&D next time but she's been freshened up since and would be dangerous if getting into a rhythm in front.
1(0)
F-3111
silk
Blue Lord

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J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
7
11-4
158
172
Smart novice hurdler last season, running well when falling at the last here in the Supreme (2m, soft); unbeaten in three races over fences, benefiting from Riviere D'Etel's last-fence blunder when taking the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown (2m1f, yielding) last month by half a length; jumps soundly in the main; a leading candidate, unlikely to be far away.

RACING POST TIP

circle_v2
silk
Riviere D'etel
In the absence of Ferny Hollow, the warm ante-post favourite before picking up a suspensory ligament injury, the suggestion is RIVIERE D'ETEL (nap) who pulled well clear with that rival at Leopardstown in December. Subsequently runner-up to Blue Lord in a dramatic Irish Arkle over the same C&D, the selection can turn the tables today and maintain her superiority over third-placed Saint Sam. The unexposed pair Haut En Couleurs and Magic Daze are fascinating contenders but the rock-solid second choice is the likeable Edwardstone.

VERDICT

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ARKLE CHASE PREVIOUS WINNERS

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ARKLE CHASE KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - ARKLE CHASE 2021

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