Grade Two Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices' Chase Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
5
Nico de Boinville

Pentland Hills

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 150
Days: 13

Pentland Hills, probably won one of the easiest races you’ll ever see last time out. He won by an absolute distance, but.. oh – it was a walkover!

We learnt absolutely nothing with regards his fencing aptitude, it was more or less a racecourse gallop, so this may well be a fundamental “chasing debut” now, under proper race conditions.

He was a very useful hurdler, but he’s been blighted with setbacks throughout his career. It will be interesting to see how he fares today, given the lack of information we have on him, regarding his ability as a chaser. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/10/22HUN16.5Gd11-21
23/09/22HAY14GS9-41
10/03/20CHL16.5Sft11-109
18/01/20HAY15.5Hy11-72
14/12/19CHL17Sft11-35
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
6
Simon Torrens

Sole Pretender

J: Simon Torrens
T: Norman Lee
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 145
Days: 22

Sole Pretender has the most fencing experience in the field here. He’s ran five times over the larger obstacles thus far, winning two.

He has often ran to a decent level in graded company, (hurdles/fences) though he does seem a little workmanlike in winning – when he does – which leaves an inference of perhaps a lack of class, relative to these – that is.

He may well be able to dictate though, on account of his experience, and he will surely make it difficult for those with a lack of experience. He provides an interesting tactical angle in what looks a good renewal of this. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/10/22CHL16Gd11-123
26/09/22ROS16Gd11-53
28/07/22GAL18.5Gd11-56
30/06/22TIP16Y11-82
14/06/22ROS16Gd11-71
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
3
Stan Sheppard

Glory And Fortune

J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 143
Days: 34

Glory And Fortune has his finest hour last season, when winning the Betfair Hurdle (G3) at Newbury in February. He was a talented hurdler, who ran some good races in defeat too, but that’s certainly his highlight.

He was last seen when finishing fourth in the Welsh Champion Hurdle in October, when in all fairness, more was probably expected.

Now, sent chasing, he will need to be on his A-Game against some of these who look absolute naturals. It will likely be a tough start to life as a chaser, but he does not lack for ability at all. Interesting. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/22FFO16Gd11-124
07/04/22AIN20GS11-74
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-105
12/02/22NBY16.5GS11-81
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-72
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
7
Danny McMenamin

Tommy's Oscar

J: Danny McMenamin
T: Ann Hamilton
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 156
Days: 30

Tommy’s Oscar was probably.. the best of these over hurdles. That deduction is only made due to his longevity in open company, as opposed to Monmiral’s career largely being defined to his relative age restrictions.

He was a prolific winner over hurdles and he was a G2 winner to boot. He made a good start to fences in a thrilling two runner race consisting of himself, and the experienced Geromino.

The official winning distance was a head, and his class probably got him out of a bit of trouble, Geromino did put his jumping under pressure and that resulted in a few slow jumps.

He has class on his side, and now fencing experience – whether that is enough is another question. Fascinating runner.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL16Gd11-42
13/10/22CRL16Gd11-101
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-109
22/01/22HAY15.5Sft11-41
01/01/22MUS15.5GS11-51
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
2
Tom Midgley

Fusain

J: Tom Midgley
T: Patrick Neville
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 115
Days: 31

Fusain, unfortunately looks like he has a virtually impossible task on here. He’s only won one race throughout his whole career, and that was a weak maiden at Kilbeggan when 2/9F. He is also yet to publicly jump a fence, so his aptitude for chasing is simply unknown.

On what we do know, we know that he will have to find at least 30lbs, and that’s to be in the slightest bit competitive, let alone win it. He is an outsider, who’s unfortunately a deserved one.

Impossible to fancy.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL16Gd11-45
12/10/22WET16Gd10-126
18/12/21HAY15.5Sft11-84
21/08/21KLN17Gd12-04
18/07/21TIP16.5Y12-06
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
1
J J Slevin

Banbridge

J: J J Slevin
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 143
Days: 42

Banbridge, the winner of the Martin Pipe at the Festival, made a bright start to life as a chaser, when winning over 2m4f at Gowran Park.

He did that very, very easily – he certainly impressed with his jumping too. He made some useful enough horses look rather ordinary, and he could have won by quadruple the official winning distance of eight and a half lengths.

It’s also worth noting that the time was also very quick, he was foot virtually foot perfect over his obstacles too and it’s really hard to find any negatives. He’s a hugely exciting chaser.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL16Gd11-41
01/10/22GOW20Gd/Y11-121
08/04/22AIN24.5GS11-712
18/03/22CHL20.5GS11-31
22/01/22NAV16Y11-71
Cheltenham - November 12 2022
Cheltenham 13:45
4
NON-RUNNER

Monmiral

J: NON-RUNNER
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-4
OR: 149
Days: 219

Monmiral is a horse who you could take one look at, and see he was apparently tailor made for a fence. Paul Nicholls has always used the cliché that – “Anything he does over hurdles is a bonus, he’s a chaser through and through”.

Well, he won at G1 level over hurdles and most recently finished second to a Champion Hurdle winner in Epatante, at Aintree.

Though he was beaten soundly there, that gives you an indication of the level he was capable of, even at his apparently unpreferred obstacles.

If he can jump a fence as well as one hopes/expects, he may well be hard to beat, as he was right up there with most of these over hurdles. Seriously exciting runner.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/11/22WAR16.5Sft11-42
07/04/22AIN20GS11-72
27/02/22FON19GS11-74
27/11/21NCS16GS11-75
08/04/21AIN17GS11-01

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