Irish Arkle Novice Chase Guide

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
5
Paul Townend

Energumene

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 24

The short priced favourite represents the Mullins stable and has a lofty rating of 159.

Only having one run over hurdles yielded a huge margin victory at short odds, with the plan seemingly being to always go over fences.

Yet to taste defeat over obstacles, he set a strong standard when last seen brushing Captain Guinness aside at Naas on deep ground.

He has form over further as he bolted up on chase debut over 2.5 miles back in November. He showed plenty of natural pace to win last time out and handles two miles on soft ground very well.

The win over Captain Guinness was visually impressive but his price does look incredibly short.

The stable first string is moving into Graded company for the first time and could be vulnerable to one who’s got more experience in graded company.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-121
13/01/21NAA16Hy11-101
20/11/20GOW20Hy12-01
07/03/20GOW16Sft/Hy11-121
10/01/20THU16Y12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
1
Danny Mullins

Blackbow

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 24

A big priced entrant for Willie Mullins, 8 year old Blackbow has improved markedly for a switch to the larger obstacles.

0/4 as a hurdler, he broke his maiden under rules when winning well on chase debut. Some smart horses were in his wake that day including Entoucas and Defi Bleu.

Subsequently tried in a grade 1 at Christmas, he fell early in the race so gave no real indication as to how he stacked up at the top table.

Last seen when well beaten behind stable mate Energumene in novice chase at Naas would suggest he has far too much to find to get truly competitive in this.

A big price runner he’s unlikely to be playing a part in the finish of this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-123
13/01/21NAA16Hy11-103
26/12/20LEO17Y12-0F
22/11/20NAV17Sft12-01
14/03/20NAV16Hy11-122
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
2
Rachael Blackmore

Captain Guinness

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 150
Days: 24

The representative for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore, Captain Guinness has had a mixed start to life as a chaser.

Sent off a short priced favourite for his chasing debut, he pulled up sharply with a reported heart defect.

Given time to recover he confirmed promise as a chaser and won on heavy ground in a beginners chase at Punchestown, oozing class as he did so.

Last seen in the same race as Blackbow and Energumene, he was well held by the Mullins winner and has a large looking 8 lengths to make up on the latter.

He’s shown plenty of promise as a chaser and was a smart novice hurdler last campaign. Heavy ground probably isn’t his ideal so if conditions stay on the better side of soft he could make the frame.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
3
Jonathan Moore

Darver Star

J:
 
Jonathan Moore
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 155
Days: 42

Slightly older than most of his counterparts, Gavin Cromwell’s Darver Star was highly consistent last season as a hurdler.

3rd in the Royal Bond, 2nd in the Irish Champion hurdle and 3rd in the Champion hurdle make up a smart looking CV.

He took to fences immediately and won well at Punchestown on chase debut by 12 lengths to Le Musigny.

Heavy ground blunted his ability next time out at Grade 2 level and he only managed 3rd when sent off favourite behind Felix Desjy and Sizing Pottsie.

A return to a sounder surface saw him run well again over course and distance behind the impressive Franco De Port, only beaten 4.5 lengths.

If the ground doesn’t get any worse he’s clearly a classy operator and has huge place claims.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-127
26/12/20LEO17Y12-02
14/11/20PUN16Sft/Hy11-63
13/10/20PUN17Y12-01
10/03/20CHL16.5Sft11-103
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
4
Donagh Meyler

Embittered

J:
 
Donagh Meyler
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 144
Days: 42

Representing Gigginstown and Joseph O’Brien, Embittered has yet to deliver over fences despite running creditably in defeat.

He’s only won one race over obstacles under rules and that came as a hurdler. His form over fences though is 224 and he’s bumped into some classy operators in beginner chase events.

Beaten by the likes of Easywork and Andy Dufresne are good runs on paper but he was well found out in Grade 1 company behind Franco De Port and Darver Star last time out.

Unlikely to be playing a crucial role here, beaten 21 lengths over course and distance when last seen by re-opposing rivals gives the 7 year old a mountain to climb.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-124
26/12/20LEO17Y12-04
05/12/20NAV17Sft11-22
08/11/20NAV17Sft/Hy12-02
13/03/20CHL17Sft11-83
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
6
Jack Kennedy

Felix Desjy

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 155
Days: 42

Gordon Elliott’s sole runner, Felix Desjy was a prolific hurdler and showed his class over timber winning the Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

A win on the flat last summer was followed by an early fall in the Galway plate when sent off favourite.

The switch to fences was immediately effective, a 31 length winner on chase debut he backed that up with another victory in a Grade 2 novice event at Punchestown, beating Sizing Pottsie and Darver Star.

Last seen when favourite for the Grade 1 racing post novices’ chase at Christmas, he failed to justify market support and faded back into 3rd behind Franco De Port and Darver Star.

He has form on a mix of grounds but weakened quite tamely last time out over course and distance.

Recapturing the form he showed at Punchestown would see him go close but it’s concerning how quickly he faded out of contention here at Christmas.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-128
26/12/20LEO17Y12-03
14/11/20PUN16Sft/Hy11-61
05/10/20KLN17Gd12-01
30/07/20GAL16Y11-6F
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
7
B J Cooper

Franco De Port

J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 156
Days: 42

Another one for team Mullins, he was a quietly average hurdler but has really showed himself to good effect since the switch to fences.

The 6 year old was a handy winner on chase debut and further boosted his perfect record as a chaser when winning the Grade 1 Racing Post novices’ chase over course and distance last time out.

A good jump at the last saw him confirm his first graded success on the run-in and he looked incredibly smart in doing so.
Following a similar route to last year’s winner Notebook, Franco De Port could well back up his victory here last time. 

He’s an attractive looking each way price and holds a few of his rivals on form.

He’s incredibly versatile when it comes to going and could well prove his last success was more than luck. One to keep onside. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-122
26/12/20LEO17Y12-01
26/11/20THU18Sft12-01
11/03/20CHL21Sft11-6P
26/01/20NAA16Y/Sft11-32
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
8
Darragh O'Keeffe

I'm A Game Changer

J:
 
Darragh O'Keeffe
T:
 
Andrew McNamara
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 134
Days: 36

A triple figure price entrant, I’m A Game Changer has run 9 times over fences but has yet to win over the larger obstacles.

Last seen being beaten out of sight by Al Boum Photo on New Year’s Day, it was his first run for new connections.

He has got plenty of form over 2 miles but has struggled to get competitive in average looking races.

Highly unlikely to be anywhere near the head of the field at the end of this, the 9 year old is best left alone.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 14:10
9
Mark Walsh

Unexcepted

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 109

Finally the last runner for Willie Mullins is Unexcepted. The 7 year old is very lightly raced and has only had 1 run over fences.

He opened his account at the first time of asking and beat Entoucas well by 8 lengths.

He was fairly quiet as a hurdler but was well fancied for the big two mile handicap hurdle on this card last year but failed to complete having weakened as the field turned for home.

He overcame a mammoth lay off to win on his first start as a chaser, to do it eased down against a smart enough rival was very impressive.

He’s not been seen since, but clearly runs well when fresh and is garnering some market support to sit second in the market behind stablemate Energumene.

If fully tuned up he can run his race but has yet to show himself well against strong competition.

Plenty of question marks for a horse so short in the betting but he looked a very natural chaser on his only chase start to date.

Watch for further market support.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/02/21LEO17.5Sft11-126
20/10/20TIP17Sft/Hy12-01
01/02/20LEO16Y10-12P
26/12/19LIM20Hy11-112
19/11/19FAI16Sft/Hy11-41

Free Bets & Offers


🐎 BET £10 GET £40 IN FREE BETS (£20 now & £20 during Cheltenham Week) 🐎
Min stake £10, min odds 2.0 (Evs). Only deposits made using Cards or ApplePay will qualify. Free bets valid for 30 days, x1 £20 free bet awarded at bet settlement, x1 £20 awarded at 10am Mon 15th March. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £20 AND GET £20 IN FREE BETS 🔥
T&Cs: New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 to £100 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bet rewarded as 4 free bets that total first deposit amount. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply
Claim Bonus
💥 BET £5 ON HORSE RACING & GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 💥
NEW CUSTOMER OFFER. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
📲 BET £10 GET £40 AT WILLIAM HILL 📲
New customers who register via mobile only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4x£10/€10 (30 day expiry), free bet/payment method, player/country restrictions apply
Claim Bonus
🏆 BET £20 & GET YOUR STAKE BACK AS CASH IF YOU LOSE! 🏆
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 casino bonus! 🟠
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
100% Matched Free Bet up to £10!
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card & Paypal deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. Bet The Responsible Way. BeGambleAware.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & Get £30 in Bonuses 🌟
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. PayPal and Card Payments only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.