|Date||Tuesday, March 16, 2021|
|Where to Watch||Cheltenham live stream at MansionBet|
|Horses’ Age||5+ Years.|
The Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase is the second race of the Cheltenham Festival and the first run over fences. This two-mile Grade 1 contest is a test of novice chasers’ ability to jump fences both fast and accurate. Mistakes in the Arkle are usually greatly punished.
The race is named after Arkle, a three-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the mid-1960s, and in more recent times this contest has been won by stars like Moscow Flyer, Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre, Un De Sceaux and Altior.
The last-named won in 2017, giving trainer Nicky Henderson the current benchmark of six Arkle wins. Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty dominated the early part of this century and retired with four wins apiece in the race.
Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase: Betting Odds
Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase: Tips, Predictions and Previews
The Arkle is often a target for horses that have done well the previous season over hurdles, if connections opt to go straight into chasing with them. In recent seasons, Douvan and Altior have followed up wins in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by returning to the Cheltenham Festival 12 months later to win this race.
Shishkin, the 2019 Supreme winner, has been ante-post favourite for the Arkle since it was confirmed by trainer Nicky Henderson that he would be going chasing this season. Darver Star, placed in the Champion Hurdle last season, is amongst those to have already made a splash over fences in Ireland while Henderson’s Fusil Raffles is on the board in Britain.
Willie Mullins has won this contest four times in the last six years and the Closutton maestro counts Klassical Dream amongst his possible, while rival Gordon Elliott could saddle Felix Desjy and Easywork in this contest.
Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase: Recent Winners
|2020||Put The Kettle On||Aidan Coleman||Henry De Bromhead|
|2019||Duc De Genievres||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|2018||Footpad||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2017||Altior||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2016||Douvan||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|