Arkle Challenge Trophy Race Card

Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

1st
Nico de Boinville

Shishkin

Age: 7
Weight: 11.3
OR: 164
J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
chased leaders, good jump to lead 3 out, nudged along and went clear before 2 out, 6 lengths ahead last, easily, impressive
2nd
Harry Cobden

Eldorado Allen

Age: 7
Weight: 11.3
OR: 149
J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
towards rear, hit 3rd, still plenty to do when shaken up 3 out, 12 lengths fourth last, ridden and stayed on run-in, went second towards finish, no match for winner
3rd
Rachael Blackmore

Captain Guinness

Age: 6
Weight: 11.3
OR: 153
J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
took keen hold, close up and pressed leader, led but pestered 3rd, headed 4 out, lost second 3 out, pushed along and switched left home turn, outpaced 2 out, ridden run-in, briefly lost third towards finish
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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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