Arkle Chase – Cheltenham Day 1
14.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Novices’ Grade 1)
A fierce run 2 miler to follow the Supreme Novices
Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….
- Class appears to count with short priced favourites scoring well
- Age doesn’t appear to matter with 5 and 6 year olds dominating, mainly because that is the age range of entries
- Days since last run: 60 – 90 days have had 11 wins/places in last 18 years
- Last eighteen winners have proved themselves in an extended finish by winning at more than this 16f trip
- Fourteen out of the last sixteen winners had a rating of 142 and over and five of these were the highest rated chaser in the race
- 27 of the last 27 winners finished either first or second in the last race before the festival
- Nine out of the last thirteen winners had either won or been placed at the Cheltenham Festival before, predominantly novice hurdles
- Only three winners since 1976 did not have a prep run in the eight weeks leading up to the race
- Only five favourites in the last 24 runnings of the Arkle have won the race
- Ten of the last fifteen winners had won a novice chase by the first week in December
- Trial pointers include the November Novices’ Chase, Henry VIII Novices’ Chase or Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase
Can Douvan be beaten…….Mullins thinks he’s the best he’s ever trained with just one defeat in his locker on debut that looks extremely doubtful barring accidents.
At odds of around 2/5 that leaves value out there other than taking on the winning distance. Looking to the remainder, Vaniteux is likely to be next in the market for Nicky Henderson but again lacks any real value or confidence based on his last outing at Donny where he only just overhauled Arzal.
Sizing John hasn’t shied runs against Douvan and will be better on the drying ground, whilst our Super Yank vote, L’Ami Serge will probably take the JLT and although disappointing at Warwick LTO in the Kingmaker Chase, he still looks each-way value for that based on his beating of Doctor Harper at Plumpton.
Garde La Victoire is another more likely to be JLT bound at time of writing.
The Game Changer has six chase wins in eight starts, though has been selectively campaigned in small fields. He likes the firmer surfaces and should get that here with a drying week forecast, though with the inevitable watering.
Looking to the longer prices….Outlander could be another going in the JLT.
SIZING JOHN looks the one to follow Douvan home again and at around 8/1 is better value than the short priced favourite.