Irish Arkle Novice Chase Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
2
Donagh Meyler

Embittered

J: Donagh Meyler
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-12
OR: 141
Days: 63

Embittered has won a Grade 3 novice chase this season but was subsequently dispatched by Riviere D'etel, twice.

He's been kept busy - having raced ten times since February of last year. I think he was well placed in the early part of the season in winning twice and picking up a graded contest, but meeting a higher calibre thereafter, he's looked safely held.

A break might just have sharpened him up again but he needs to have improved a good deal to get involved here.

An outsider and it looks about justified. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/11/22COR16.5Sft11-52
21/09/22LIS24Gd10-37
28/07/22GAL16Gd11-38
28/05/22PUN16Gd10-123
16/03/22CHL16Hy11-17
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
3
J J Slevin

Busselton

J: J J Slevin
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 137
Days: 49

A good consistent horse who looks to have improved for the switch to chasing. He's ran seven times over fences, winning three. He showed good enough form hurdling last year too, he is a horse with a likeable attitude.

However, the strength of his runs over fences (on form) could be questioned, he will definitely need to improve to get on the level of some of these, but he's no forlorn hope.

He has placed behind Gin On Lime, a good mare of Henry De Bromhead, and he's beaten The Bosses Oscar too. He is prone to a mistake or two and over this shorter trip, it could have a big impact on the level of his run.

Outsider with class to prove. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/09/22LIS24Gd10-51
29/07/22GAL22.5Gd/Y11-122
28/06/22ROS12Sft/Hy9-91
18/06/22DRO13Y9-93
29/04/22PUN21Gd/Y10-122
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
5
Rachael Blackmore

Saint Sam

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 27

Saint Sam was electric on chase debut, impressing with his jumping. He made all that day to Thedevilscoachman in second.

He won by 9L in the end and it was a good showing visually, and on the clock. Thedevilscoachman jumped badly throughout but put it up to Saint Sam between the second last and the last, Saint Sam put daylight between himself and Thedevilscoachman in comfortable, decisive fashion.

Saint Sam was a good hurdler last season as he showed when finishing second to Jeff Kidder in the Boodles at the festival.

He looks to be a horse who's improved ten-fold for the switch to fences and seems a natural.

He will improve again and he poses a very real threat to those at the top of the market.  Difficult to keep out of the frame.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
31/12/22PUN19.5Sft/Hy11-61
28/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-126
15/03/22CHL16GS11-4UR
05/02/22LEO17Y11-103
09/01/22FAI17Sft11-101
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
6
Jack Kennedy

Riviere D'etel

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-3
OR: 150
Days: 41

Riviere D'etel is another that looks to have improved dramatically for the switch to the bigger obstacles. She was down the field in the Boodles last year when travelling smoothly off the home turn - ultimately paying for her earlier keenness.

She's settled much better this year and pays far more respect to fences than she did hurdles.

Riviere D'etel jumps with deadly accuracy and pace - having won three of her four starts from the front. She was a fantastic second to Ferny Hollow in a Grade 1 at Christmas with the pair only split by a length and a half (14L back to the third).

Being the only mare in this field, she'll receive a weight allowance from her rivals. She will look to lead and burn them all off with her pace and electric jumping.

She is most definitely the best we've seen in this field on chase form - and as a result, this makes her the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/22CRL20Sft11-54
13/11/22NAV16Y11-02
17/04/22FAI20Y11-33
15/03/22CHL16GS10-115
05/02/22LEO17Y11-32
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
4
B J Cooper

Haut En Couleurs

J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Considerably the least exposed of the field and definitely falls into the "could be anything" category.

He was bought from France in 2020, and on his first start for Willie Mullins, ran a screamer to finish third in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

He backed up that effort by finishing again in third place at a Punchestown Grade 1 at the end of the year, not beaten far when favourite. He won a beginners chase last time out on his first try over fences.

He did it with an air of authority and he was impressive. He did jump left on occasion but not markedly so.

With stablemates, Gentleman De Mee and Mt Leinster in 2nd and 3rd, he's clearly ran to a good level. This was over course and distance and he can only improve on that. Live wire in hot race.

Definite chance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/01/23THU20.5Y11-3F
19/12/22PUN20Sft11-104
28/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-125
15/03/22CHL16GS11-46
05/02/22LEO17Y11-10F
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 14:10
1
Paul Townend

Blue Lord

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 34

Looked booked for 2nd in last years Supreme to impressive winner Appreciate It when stumbling after the last.

He showed a very good level of form last year novice hurdling. He's 2/2 this season in novice/beginners chases - winning by a cumulative distance of 25L.

Blue Lord clearly has a massive engine and seems to jump very quickly with pinpoint accuracy. He's stepping up in Grade today however but looks to be one of the best horses in the race on lifetime form.

With Ferny Hollow out of Cheltenham with an injury, Blue Lord is now the market leader for the Arkle at the festival and will look to take this en route.

Steps up in grade but likely to be bang there at the death.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/23LEO17Y11-122
27/12/22LEO17Y11-121
17/11/22CLO20.5Sft/Hy11-81
28/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-121
15/03/22CHL16GS11-43