The Arkle Chase is another two-mile race that is usually run at a furious gallop. It sees the top novice chasers collide in what is always a spectacle to watch.
It has a proud history of producing some fantastic winners who go onto repeat victories time and time again in bigger races afterwards including the likes of Shishkin, Sprinter Sacre and Altior to name just a few.
There are thirteen fences to take in over the old course and the race usually takes a little under four minutes to complete.
In recent years, the Irish have maintained a strong grip on this race with them winning five of the last seven renewals.
Willie Mullins in particular has had an uncanny knack of producing a horse with all the pre-requisite conditions to take the prize home.
The race can provide the odd shock as the likes of Put The Kettle On (16/1) and Western Warhorse (33/1) have demonstrated in recent years.
Having a prep run at Leopardstown has proven an invaluable asset to have on your CV prior to coming here and the jockey being familiar with his or her horse has also proven to be invaluable as nineteen out of the last twenty winners had previously won another race with the same jockey on board.
Previous Winners of the Arkle Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 2022.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
EDWARDSTONE – ALAN KING
Edwardstone only has one blip on his CV this season and that came first time out when he was brought down in a novice chase at Warwick.
Since then, there has been no looking back for the Alan King trained eight-year-old.
A subsequent two wins at Warwick and a win in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase sees him likely go off as favourite for this race.
It is worth bearing in mind that on the three previous occasions he has raced at Cheltenham he has fared no better than fifth place and was soundly beaten on all occasions.
The hill here at the finish is an obvious concern because he has done all of his winning on mostly flat tracks. Others look far better value on this basis.
BLUE LORD – WILLIE MULLINS
Blue Lord came to grief at this meeting last year when looking booked for second behind Appreciate It in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Undeterred by that experience he picked himself up and still finished third in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown the following month.
Willie Mullins has clearly put a lot of time in with him with a view to sending him over the larger obstacles.
He comes here on the back of three straight wins including when set his most difficult task in the Grade 1 Irish Arkle at Leopardstown last month.
He gave weight and a beating to the highly regarded Riviere D’etel and must be high on any shortlist given his trainers’ recent record in this race.
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RIVIERE D’ETEL – GORDON ELLIOTT
Riviere D’etel is as tough as teak and has proven that on each start that she has made this year.
Wins this year have been at Grade 2 and Grade 3 level, but her two most recent efforts in Grade 1 races were admirable efforts where she finished runner-up to Blue Lord and Ferny Hollow respectively.
She was a creditable seventh to Jeff Kidder here in the Boodles last season, but it is clear now that she was always destined to be better over fences.
She would love a strong pace to attack but the recent record of five-year-olds in this race makes grim reading as the last thirteen who have lined up here have all failed.
Given that the weight for age allowance has also now been removed she is effectively two pounds worse off with Blue Lord who beat her last time.
HAUT EN COULEURS – WILLIE MULLINS
Haut En Couleurs comes here on the back of a fall in the Irish equivalent, which is far from an ideal preparation.
You can never rule out a Willie Mullins runner in this race though and he did make his debut for the yard when third to Quilixios in the Triumph Hurdle here last season.
He was placed in a subsequent Grade 1 over hurdles at Punchestown over hurdles and has now been sent chasing.
He got his career over fences off to a good start by winning a run of the mill chase at Leopardstown back in December.
Needs to take another step forward despite being generally consistent and this requires a career best.
SAINT SAM – WILLIE MULLINS
Saint Sam was a creditable third to stablemate Blue Lord in the Irish Arkle when beaten a little over four lengths.
He ran well in the Boodles here last year where he finished a game second to Jeff Kidder.
Sent chasing by Willie Mullins this year, the five-year-old ran out a nine-length winner of a chase at Fairyhouse on what was his debut over fences.
He certainly progressed enough to be placed in the Grade 1 Irish Arkle last time and could well be anything.
Is certainly worth his place in the line-up and could well reverse recent form with Riviere D’etel now he is better off at the weights.
This has been a graveyard for those backing horses as young as him in recent times though. The last one so young to win this was Voy Por Ustedes in 2006.
He also has an alternative engagement and may run in the Turners’ Chase instead.
MAGIC DAZE – HENRY DE BROMHEAD
Magic Daze is a decent mare but whether she is up to this standard is something else.
She has been beaten in every Graded race she has contested so far including when second to her stablemate Telmesomethinggirl in what was formerly the Dawn Run Novices’ Hurdle last season over this course and distance.
She was beaten on her chase debut at Galway beaten over eight lengths by Noble Yeats but then justified odds-on favouritism to win an ordinary event at Cork next time.
Concertista and Jeremy’s Flame both saw her off over that same course and distance in December and she hasn’t been seen since. She looks to have a mighty hill to climb here.
COEUR SUBLIME – HENRY DE BROMHEAD
Coeur Sublime is clearly thriving under another new trainer. This is his third yard in as many seasons and although it seems as though he has been around forever, he has actually only had fifteen career starts.
He has previous festival form which is important and had the unfortunate experience of bumping into Ferny Hollow in two of his three most recent runs.
Following his fine effort in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown, he absolutely hosed in by ten lengths on his next start at Gowran Park when ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
If the ground were soft he would have optimum conditions and he is one who cannot be ruled out.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2022 Arkle Tips & Key Trends
Blue Lord can continue Willie Mullins’ recent good run of wins in this race as he has done nothing wrong all season.
He seems to be improving at a rate of knots and should have made the frame here in the Supreme last year.
It is difficult to assess the true value of Edwardstone as he has been winning Micky Mouse races all year and has never been properly tested.
He raced here three times over hurdles and never once got close to troubling the judge.
The recent trend of five-year-olds in this race makes grim reading so that puts me off Riviere D’etel.
Coeur Sublime is a useful yardstick and could well plug on for a place given his trainer’s previous exploits in this race.
- 15 of the last 21 winners have won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 race over fences
- 8 of the last ten winners were trained by either Willie Mullins or Nicky Henderson
- 24 of the past 30 winners were aged 6 or 7
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 5/2 Edwardstone
- 4/1 Blue Lord
- 4/1 Riviere D’Etel
- 7/1 Haut En Couleurs
- 9/1 Saint Sam
- 14/1 Magic Daze
- 16/1 Coeur Sublime
- 20/1 Gabynako
- 28/1 Brave Seasca
- 40/1 War Lord
- 100/1 Red Rookie
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