Racing Post Arkle Chase

The Racing Post Arkle Chase Challenge Trophy is the second race of the Cheltenham Festival and takes place at 2.10pm on Day 1 (Tuesday). The race will be broadcast on ITV and Racing TV (RTV). It is first chase of the festival and often proves to be a fierce test of speed for novice chasers.

The likes of Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre and Altior have won the Arkle before winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase the following season. The race is named after the great racehorse Arkle, who achieved the highest rating of any jumps horse in the history of the sport.

Length of race – The race is run over 2m.
Where to watch – ITV and RTV.
When to watch – Tuesday, March 12 at 2.10pm.
Prize-money – Last year’s race was worth £175,000.
Course – The race is run on the Old course at Cheltenham.
Race type – The Racing Post Arkle is a Grade 1 for novice chasers only, meaning horses who have won a chase in previous seasons are unable to compete.
Weights – Most horses carry 11st 4lb. Five-year-olds used to get a weight allowance but no longer do. Mares get a 7lb weight allowance.
Ages – Five-year-olds and older are eligible to compete in the Arkle.
Sponsor – The Racing Post has sponsored the race since 2012.


Past ten winners:


Year Horse Previous form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2018 Footpad 43-111 6 5-6F Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2017 Altior 1-1111 7 1-4F Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2016 Douvan 11-111 6 1-4F Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2015 Un De Sceaux 11-F11 7 4-6F Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2014 Western Warhorse F1-261 6 33-1 David Pipe Tom Scudamore
2013 Simonsig 111-11 7 8-15F Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2012 Sprinter Sacre 13-111 6 8-11F Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2011 Captain Chris 22221 7 6-1 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
2010 Sizing Europe 41111 8 6-1 Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2009 Forpadydeplasterer 4-1222 7 8-1 Thomas Cooper Barry Geraghty


Race statistics

  • Finished in the first two on all completed chase starts, 10/10
  • RPR hurdle rating of at least 153, 10/10
  • SP no bigger than 8-1, 9/10
  • Aged six or seven, 9/10
  • Rated within 6lb of RPR top-rated, 9/10 (seven were top-rated)
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 160, 9/10
  • Three to five chase runs, 8/10 (both exceptions had fewer)

Other factors

  • Eight winners had previously won a 2m-2m1f Graded chase
  • Seven winners had previously run at the festival, showing mixed form in a variety of hurdle races
  • A French-bred has finished in the first three on seven occasions (four won)
  • Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh share the leading jockey honours in the history of the Arkle Challenge Trophy. Geraghty’s four wins came on Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadydeplasterer (2009), Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Simonsig (2013). Walsh’s four wins came aboard Azertyuiop (2003), Un De Sceaux (2015), Douvan (2016) and Footpad (2018).
  • Nicky Henderson is the leading trainer in the history of the Arkle. His six successes came with Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000), Sprinter Sacre (2012), Simonsig (2013) and Altior (2017).

Key trials

The Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown in December is the main trial in Britain prior to the Arkle. Several Grade 2s – the November Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton and the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick – are frequently used as trials for the British-based contenders.

In Ireland, the Racing Post Novices’ Chase at Leopardstown at the Christmas meeting and Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival are the Grade 1 options prior to Cheltenham.

What happened last year?

Favourite Footpad oozed class under Ruby Walsh to win by 14 lengths after Petit Mouchoir and Saint Calvados set the race up perfectly for Willie Mullins-trained winner. View the 2018 Arkle Challenge Trophy result and replay here.

Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?

Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.

Racing Post Arkle Tip

A Chepstow 2m7½f novice handicap chase does not often produce an Arkle contender, yet this was where Glen Forsa made a successful chase debut. He then impressed at Kempton on Boxing Day over 2m4f and emerged as a contender over the minimum trip in the Kingmaker at Sandown when dismantling 1-4 favourite Kalashnikov. Glen Forsa showed pace and precision, a combination which could prove irresistible at Cheltenham.
(James Norris)

1. Glen Forsa, 2. Lalor, 3. Paloma Blue

View the racecard and place your bets here.