Arkle Chase

A Grade One Chase for Novices over 2 miles on the Old Course.

We are on the look out for a future star of sprint chasing. Recent Arkle winners Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe, Voy Per Ustedes, Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, Flagship Uberalles and Klairon Davis have all gone on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

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Cheltenham 2013, Champagne Fever
2014 Arkle Chase Favourite Champagne Fever

Arkle Chase Trends

10/10returned an SP no bigger than 9/1
10/10had no more than five races over fences
9/10finished in first two in all completed starts over fences
9/10rated at least 142 over hurdles
9/10 were aged between five and seven
9/10finished in first two last time out
8/10had run at the Festival before
8/10had final prep race within 52 days of the Festival

Arkle Trends Analysis

The trend to focus on here is the 142 rating over hurdles. Not that many horses rated 142+ over hurdles will go over fences and if they meet the age requirement they could well be worth considering.

Arkle Chase Last Ten Winners

Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).
2013Simonsig7yoN HendersonB Geraghty8/15F
2012Sprinter Sacre6yoN HendersonB Geraghty8/11F
2011Captain Chris7yoP HobbsR Johnson6/1
2010Sizing Europe8yoH De BromheadA Lynch6/1
2009Forpadydeplasterer7yoT CooperB Geraghty8/1
2008Tidal Bay7yoJH JohnsonD ORegan6/1
2007My Way De Solzen7yoA KingR Thornton7/2
2006Voy Por Ustedes5yoA KingR Thornton15/2
2005Contraband7yoM PipeT Murphy7/1
2004Well Chief5yoM PipeAP McCoy9/1

Arkle Preview

There appear to be lots of ifs and buts over this year’s Arkle with no apparent standout contender. Instead we have a number of horses at the head of the market who still have a number of questions to answer.

Champagne Fever’s absence since Christmas is a worry and his fencing has been brilliant in places but also pretty poor in places so he looks to have been priced up on his reputation and Festival form rather than what he has actually achieved over fences. Similar comments must also apply to Rock On Ruby who would be the first nine-year-old to win this race since 1988. Valdez has a likeable attitude but falls some way short of the class of horse that usually wins this race. Dodging Bullets probably has the best form on show but his poor showings at Cheltenham and Aintree last year remain in the memory and I wonder if he finds enough in a fight to win an Arkle.

None of the outsiders make much appeal so this leaves Grandouet and TRIFOLIUM. Grandouet certainly has the class to win this and there was a lot to like about his run against Hinterland in the King Henry VIII, a race won in a very good time. The problem here is his next run behind Dodging Bullets at Kempton where he shaped as if either something was physically amiss or he resented making the running on such soft ground. I can’t remember the last Arkle winner who broke his duck over fences at the Festival but he could run well and is a fair price. However after such a poor latest effort and the possibility that he could be quite fresh after nearly twelve weeks off the track he is also overlooked.

By a process of elimination this leaves TRIFOLIUM who has excellent form at the track (3rd in 2012 Supreme Novices) and was the convincing winner of a Grade One Novice Chase at Leopardstown on him most recent outing. His very shrewd trainer believes his charge is at his best on decent ground and with the likelihood of conditions to suit combined with the horse’s excellent jumping he looks the horse with the least amount of question marks.

The 2014 Arkle is probably more of a race to savour than to get heavily involved in financially but TRIFOLIUM looks the best call at the current available odds.

Bryan Cooper on his Arkle mount, TRIFOLIUM:

“He is such a good jumper, and we know that he acts at Cheltenham. I have ridden him twice, and I have got a great ride off him both times. He could run a big race."

Back TRIFOLIUM at 5/1 with SkyBet non runner, no bet (price avaialble at time of writing)

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Arkle Chase Odds

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