The Arkle Chase is the leading two-mile chase for novices at the Cheltenham Festival.
It usually establishes the champion novice chaser in this division and often produces future Queen Mother Champion Chase winners.
Horses to win both races include racing legends Flyingbolt, Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre and Altior.
Leading fancies for the Arkle Chase 2022 include Haut en Couleurs, Ciel de Neige, Elixir de Nutz, Blue Lord and Edwardstone.
Find out more about the Arkle Chase:
- 1 The Arkle – Race Overview
- 2 Famous Arkle Chase History
- 3 Arkle Chase 2023 Odds
- 4 Arkle Chase 2023 Tips
- 5 Top Trainers and Jockeys of The Arkle
- 6 Key Arkle Chase Trials
- 7 Arkle Chase Betting Trends
- 8 Arkle Chase Stats
- 9 Betting on the Arkle Chase
- 9.1 888 Cheltenham Offer
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- 9.18 bet365 Cheltenham Free Bet
- 10 Arkle Chase FAQ's
- 11 Summary of the Cheltenham Arkle
- 12 Other Cheltenham Related Articles
The Arkle – Race Overview
The Arkle Chase takes place on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival and is always one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the week.
Its full name is the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase.
The race is often billed as the ultimate clash between the top novice chasers from Great Britain and Ireland with the winners of the top trials meeting for the first time. It features the rising stars of the National Hunt game.
The emphasis is always on jumping as one serious error could prove costly at this level. Run over the distance of 2 miles – the shortest distance for a jumps race – pace and accurate jumping are therefore key assets required to win.
It is a race often ran at an end to end gallop and is one of the most prestigious races over the whole jumps calendar.
Famous Arkle Chase History
The Cotswold Chase was renamed the Arkle Chase (or Arkle Challenge Trophy) in 1969 in honour of the three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. His illustrious stable companion Flyingbolt had won the race in 1965 while dual King George VI Chase winner Pendil won this race in 1972.
In more recent years it has been rare for the Arkle to be won by a horse who excels at longer distances.
The Arkle Chase is very much regarded as a talent pool for the Queen Mother Champion Chase with numerous horses going on to win both races. 1991 winner Remittance Man won the Champion Chase the following season for Nicky Henderson and Richard Dunwoody.
1999 winner Flagship Uberalles won the 2002 Queen Mother Champion Chase, emulating his half-brother Viking Flagship (Champion Chaser in 1994 and 1995).
Moscow Flyer (2002) was a hugely popular Irish-trained winner of the Arkle for Jessica Harrington and Barry Geraghty. He went on to win the Champion Chase for the next two seasons, despite competition from subsequent Arkle winners Azertyuiop and Well Chief.
Nicky Henderson has enjoyed unprecedented success in this race, none more so than in recent seasons. Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Altior (2017) were arguably the two most talented horses he has trained in his long career. Sprinter Sacre won 18 of his 23 races and over a million pounds in prize money, recovering from heart problems to claim a second Champion Chase in 2016.
Altior reigned supreme in the two-mile division, achieving a record 19 consecutive victories including four at the Cheltenham Festival. Henderson won the race for a record seventh time with Shishkin in 2021. The gelding had won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle a year earlier and looks every bit as exciting as his predecessors.
Cheltenham Festival Arkle Chase Previous Winners
Here are the previous winners of the Cheltenham Festival Arkle Chase:
|2012||Flemenstar||7||Andrew Lynch||Peter Casey|
|2013||Benefficient||7||Bryan Cooper||Tony Martin|
|2014||Trifolium||7||Bryan Cooper||Charles Byrnes|
|2015||Un de Sceaux||7||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2016||Douvan||6||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2017||Some Plan||9||Davy Russell||Henry de Bromhead|
|2018||Footpad||6||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|2019||Le Richebourg||6||Mark Walsh||Joseph O’Brien|
|2020||Notebook||7||Rachael Blackmore||Henry De Bromhead|
|2021||Energumene||7||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|2022||Blue Lord||7||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
Arkle Chase 2023 Odds
Here are the most recent odds for the Arkle Chase in March 2023:
- Sir Gerhard – 5-1
- Constitution Hill – 6-1
- Zanahiyr – 10-1
- Jonbon – 10-1
- Appreciate It – 12-1
- Dysart Dynamo – 12-1
And below are the best Arkle Chase betting offers:
- Ladbrokes £20 Free Bets Arkle Chase Betting Bonus
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- Coral £20 Free Bets Arkle Chase Betting Offer
- William Hill £30 Free Bets Arkle Chase Special Offer
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- Betbull £50 Free Bets Arkle Chase Welcome Bonus
Arkle Chase 2023 Tips
Below are the Arkle Chase 2023 tips:
- 2 points win on CONSTITUTION HILL with top odds of 6-1
- 1 point each way for APPRECIATE IT with higher odds of 12-1
Top Trainers and Jockeys of The Arkle
Nicky Henderson leads the all-time standings in the Arkle Chase with seven winners. All have been high-class performers, notably Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Altior (2017) who would each be recognised as the highest-rated steeplechaser in training.
Willie Mullins won the race four times in the space of five seasons between 2015 and 2019.
Martin Pipe also won the race four times and his son David joined him on the roll of honour with Western Warhorse (2014).
The recently retired Barry Geraghty and Ruby Walsh share the riding honours in the Arkle with four winners apiece. Geraghty won it for the first time in 2002 with Moscow Flyer and his final victory was aboard Simonsig in 2013. Walsh struck first on Azertyuiop for Paul Nicholls in 2003 and won it on a further three occasions for Willie Mullins.
Key Arkle Chase Trials
The most productive trial for the Arkle Chase in recent seasons has been the Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown Racecourse.
Willie Mullins has successfully farmed this race with Un De Sceaux (2015), Douvan (2016) and Footpad (2018) all going on to win at Cheltenham. He also trained Duc Des Genievres to win the Beginners Chase at Gowran Park before the grey was an impressive Arkle winner in 2019.
Nicky Henderson used the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury Racecourse as the prep race for both Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Altior (2017). His Simonsig (2013) won the Wayward Lad Novices Chase at Kempton Racecourse while recent winner Shishkin romped to an easy victory in the Lightning Novices Chase at Doncaster.
Arkle Chase Betting Trends
Favourites have a great record in the Arkle Chase, winning seven of the last ten renewals. All seven started odds-on and most had been an ante-post favourite for several months.
The shortest returns were Douvan (2016) and Altior (2017) who both started 1-4 favourite.
Western Warhorse (2014) and Put The Kettle On (2020) have provided the only recent shock results in the Arkle.
Western Warhorse returned at 33-1 while Put The Kettle was a 16-1 chance. The latter proved that the victory was no fluke when coming out on top in a thrilling finish to the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2021.
Arkle Chase Stats
Key Arkle Chase trens:
- Horses aged six and seven have been completely dominant in this race, winning the last eleven renewals.
- Sizing Europe (2010) was the last eight-year-old to be successful here while Voy Por Ustedes (2006) won as a five-year-old.
- Previous form at Cheltenham is a distinct advantage in the Arkle with all but three of the last seventeen winners having raced here.
- Most Arkle winners had raced at least three times over fences and a high percentage of them had remained unbeaten.
Betting on the Arkle Chase
The ante-post market for the Arkle Chase runs throughout the year and those who have taken early prices have been well rewarded.
Trainers are usually quick to announce plans for their Cheltenham Festival winners.
Shishkin is the latest of several novice hurdle winners at Cheltenham to be installed as the early Arkle favourite and go on to win.
There is often an outstanding novice chaser in Great Britain and/or Ireland going into the race, resulting in very cramped odds on the day.
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Arkle Chase FAQ's
Who won the Arkle Chase 2022?
The winner of the 2022 Arkle Chase was Blue Lord.
What time is the Arkle Chase?
The Arkle Chase will begin at 14:10.
How far is the Arkle Chase?
The Arkle Chase has a total distance of 1 mile, seven furlongs and 199 yards.
Summary of the Cheltenham Arkle
The Arkle Chase (Arkle challenge trophy) has launched several chasing superstars over the years, many confirming the promise of their hurdling careers.
The powerful stables of Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins have dominated the race in recent seasons, winning eight of the last ten between them.
It is always exciting to see whether the race can produce the next Sprinter Sacre, Un de Sceaux or Altior.
The Arkle 2022 promises to be another mouth-watering clash.
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