The Arkle 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 Edwardstone, 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 UK based trained have wrestled this prize back from their Irish counterparts with Nicky Henderson taking it with Shishkin in 2021 and Edwardstone for Alan King last year.
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.
Winning last time out seems to be a necessity for winning this as eighteen of the last twenty-two winners have done so and favourites have a good record in this having won eight of the last eleven renewals.
Previous Winners of the Arkle Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 2023.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
EL FABIOLO – WILLIE MULLINS
Won on his most recent start at Leopardstown creating a most favourable impression when beating Banbridge and Appreciate It by ten lengths and more.
Willie Mullins has completed the Irish and UK Arkle double with Footpad, Douvan and Un De Sceaux since 2015 and he has to have every chance once again here.
El Fabiolo is very lightly-raced, open to considerable improvement and his latest victory is even more jaw-dropping, as he was keen early and made a bad mistake four out.
A serious contender and would appear to be the stables’ best chance here. The only thing against him is a lack of experience at this track.
JONBON – NICKY HENDERSON
Jonbon has only suffered one career loss and that came at this meeting last year where he was squarely put in his place by stablemate Constitution Hill in the Supreme Novices.
Since then he has maintained top company and beaten everything he has faced including at Aintree, Sandown and twice at Warwick.
The most recent of those successes came last month in the Kingmaker Novices’ Hurdle where he beat Calico in a match by five-and-a-half lengths.
The form was recently given a boost when the runner-up won a handicap chase at Doncaster just a couple of weeks ago.
DYSART DYNAMO – WILLIE MULLINS
He was no match for stablemate El Fabiolo at Leopardstown in the Irish Arkle. He also didn’t seem to handle the uniqueness of this course when clobbering an obstacle in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last season and falling.
He is particularly headstrong and likes to set off like Usain Bolt. The further he goes, the more error prone he becomes.
If he was able to put it all together, he would be a serious contender as nothing can match him for early pace. These fences take no prisoners though and if he doesn’t show them some respect he is vulnerable.
SAINT ROI – WILLIE MULLINS
Didn’t get too far in the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival as he unseated his rider at the second fence.
Prior to that he had looked quietly progressive over fences and landed the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.
He comes to the Festival for a third successive year having won the County Hurdle in 2021 and finishing fourth (promoted to third following the subsequent disqualification of Zanahiyr).
A return to this track will be in his favour and should his rivals fail to run their races, he may well be there to pick up the pieces.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2023 Arkle Tips & Key Trends
Willie Mullins is certainly no stranger to winning this race and he can do so again with the improving EL FABIOLO.
He won in decisive fashion in the Irish equivalent at the Dublin Racing Festival for Daryl Jacob. A lack of experience around this track is a minor concern but the Mullins team will have schooled him well at home.
Jonbon has shown good form but looked to be coming under pressure from Calico last time out and he is not a graded performer. El Fabiolo has the form in the book and should go extremely close here.
- All of the previous 10 winners of this race won last time out
- 7 of the last 10 winners were trained by either Willie Mullins or Nicky Henderson
- 13 of the last 17 winners had already won twice earlier in the season
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 13/8 El Fabiolo
- 13/8 Jonbon
- 9/2 Dysart Dynamo
- 8/1 Saint Roi
- 33/1 Hollow Games
- 40/1 Ha D’Or
- 66/1 Straw Fan Jack
- 80/1 Effernock Fizz
- 150/1 Ballybreeze
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