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2018 Arkle Chase Tips

2:10pm Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade One) 2m

This year’s Arkle is shaping up to be one of the races of the week, with several chasers bringing strong form into Cheltenham. Petit Mouchoir made an encouraging return from injury at the Dublin Racing Festival and is expected to come on from the run. Harry Whittington will have been delighted by Saint Calvados’ convincing victory in the Kingmaker and he looks to have plenty of class.

That being said, it’s hard to get away from FOOTPAD at the head of the betting - who has been far and away the most impressive novice in the sport this season.

A foot-perfect display on debut was followed by a lengthy triumph in Grade One at Leopardstown on Boxing Day without ever coming off the bridle. Paul Townend had to work a little harder at the Dublin Racing Festival to keep his mount up to task, but Footpad comfortably brushed off the challenge of Arkle second-favourite, Petit Mouchoir to extend his unbeaten record over fences.

Henry De Bromhead’s charge is expected to come on after his return from injury. Yet he, and the rest of the Arkle field will have to go a long way to catch Footpad, who remains one of the best bets at this years’ Cheltenham Festival.
The Arkle (2.05) is considered the Champion Chase for novices and is run over two miles.  The contest is open to horses aged five old and upwards.

The form book is often a good guide to the race and shocks in the Arkle are few and far between.  After such a stern examination, it is probably not surprising that the winner of the race almost invariably goes on to take top rank amongst the countries’ leading two mile chasers. Flagship Uberalles, Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop and Voy Por Ustedes are just a few of the horses who have gone on from winning this race in recent years to win a subsequent renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

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