The Racing Post Arkle Trophy saw 31 names entered into the hat for the Grade 1 race on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival with the leading contenders being Lalor, Dynamite Dollars and the Amy Murphy trained Kalashnikov.
These three rivals have all been joint at the top of the market for some time with Lalor for trainer Kayley Woollacott just taking slight favouritism in the majority of places.
Dynamite Dollars and Lalor have raced each other twice with both of them getting the better of each other on separate occasions where as Kalashnikov is yet to race Lalor but succumbed to classy gelding from the Paul Nicholls yard.
Ireland bring over a string contingent for this race as ever and normally have a good record in this race. Flying the flag for them is the Joseph O'Brien trained Le Richebourg who is the most likely candidate to take the race out of the 18 Irish raiders.
Ireland have notoriously done well at the highlight of the jumps season and this season looks to be no different with 29 of the 52 entries in the JLT Novices’ Chase on March 14, and 19 of 48 in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase the previous day.
The big one from an Irish perspective that is the horse to follow at the festival is the Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown owned Delta Work who will be looking to take the glory in the Grade 1 RSA Chase.
England also pose a big threat in that contest however, with the Nicky Henderson trained Santini and Topofthegame for Paul Nicholls look to have a strong chance.
The JLT Novice Chase market is led by Colin Tizzard's Lostintransaltion after his success in Grade Two BetBright Dipper Novices’ Chase over the same near two-and-a-half-mile course on New Year’s Day.
(Credit At The Races) Tizzard said: “Lostintranslation came out of Cheltenham very well.
“He is a big-framed horse that is learning all the time. He is improving with every race and is going to keep improving over time.
“He will step up in trip next year, but he won’t this year. (Jockey) Robbie Power is adamant that two and a half miles is a good trip for him at the moment.”