Arkle Challenge Trophy Race Card

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1)

1st
Aidan Coleman

Put The Kettle On

Age: 6
Weight: 10.8
OR: 144
J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
prominent, led 4th, headed approaching 5th, remained prominent, led 3 out, shaken up when pressed 2 out, edged right run-in, pressed again final 150yds, edged left and stayed on gamely towards finish
2nd
Mark Walsh

Fakir D'oudairies

Age: 5
Weight: 11.3
OR: 154
J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
prominent, led 2nd, soon headed, tracked leaders after, went 2nd after 3 out, shaken up to challenge when hit 2 out, lost ground, rallied final 150yds to press winner, no extra and held towards finish
3rd
Gavin Sheehan

Rouge Vif

Age: 6
Weight: 11.3
OR: 157
J:
 
Gavin Sheehan
T:
 
Harry Whittington
prominent early, soon in midfield, headway after 3 out, outpaced, approaching 2 out, rallying when switched right run-in, stayed on to snatch 3rd final stride, no chance with front two (vet said gelding lost its right-hind shoe)
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Second race of Champions Day

The Arkle Challenge Trophy is the second race of the Cheltenham Festival and the first race of the week to take place over fences.

The race is run over 1 mile and 7 furlongs and is open to novice chasers who are aged five or over. There are 13 fences for the runners to contend with.

History of the Arkle Challenge Trophy

The race was first introduced to the Cheltenham Festival in 1969 and was named the ‘Arkle Challenge Trophy’ in tribute to the great horse ‘Arkle’, who won three Cheltenham Gold Cup’s during the 1960’s

Up until 1980, the race was run on the second day of the festival however was then rescheduled to be run on the opening day, which it has remained at ever since.

The race did not have a sponsor until 1981, where it then became the ‘Wateford Castle Arkle’ before beer company, Guinness took over sponsorship from 1994 until 1999.

Guinness were replaced by newspaper ‘Irish Independent’ who sponsored the race from 1999 until 2012, where they were then replaced by the trade horse racing paper, the ‘Racing Post’ who still have sponsorship of the race and hence it is currently known as the ‘Racing Post Arkle.’

Recent years

There have been 50 winners of the race since it became known as the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 1969. The most recent winner was Duc Des Genievres who eased to victory for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins during the 2019 festival. Mullins has begun somewhat of a dominance of the race in recent times, winning four of the last five running’s.

Despite Mullins’ recent dominance, he isn’t the most successful trainer of the race, with that title going to Nicky Henderson, who was won the race on six occasions, with the following horses:

Nicky Henderson:

Remittance Man (1991)

Travado (1993)

Tiutchev (2000)

Sprinter Sacre (2012)

Simonsig (2013

Altior (2017)

Mullins’ recent record in the race has allowed Ruby Walsh to reach four victories in the race, that puts him joint at the top, with Barry Geraghty. The horses that have they have steered to success include:

Ruby Walsh:

Azertyuiop (2003)

Un de Sceaux (2015)

Douvan (2016

Footpad (2018)

Barry Geraghty:

Moscow Flyer (2002)

Forpadydeplasterer (2009)

Sprinter Sacre (2012)

Simonsig (2013)

The stats would suggest it will be worth keeping an eye on anything Willie Mullins runs in the field, such is his recent record in the race as well as Nicky Henderson. It may also be worth noting anything ridden by Barry Geraghty in the 2020 festival, who could ride for either trainer if they field a horse owned by JP McManus.

Finding Tips for the Arkle Challenge Trophy

If you’re looking for our thoughts on who you should back in the Arkle Challenge Trophy take a look at our Day 1 Tips page to see everything, we’re backing for this opening race at the Cheltenham Festival.

You can also see all the latest odds for this race on our Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds page allowing you to see which bookmakers are offering the best price on each horse in the race.

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