This years first chase contest at the Cheltenham Festival see's the Grade 1 Arkle Trophy and after yet another non runner being called out of the race today due to injury we are going to look into who could actually win it.
Today the news was announced that favourite Le Richebourg will miss the Cheltenham festival after picking up a season ending injury and unfortunately for his trainer Joesph O'Brien it rules out one of his best chances of the week to land his first festival winner.
Le Richebourg this season had raced five times in preparation for the festival and in there was two emphatic Group 1 wins in his last two runs.
With the Arkle being the race that has suffered multiple non runners with now just over two weeks until we will know the winner of the race, it is imperative that it takes no more hits to keep he contest as competitive as possible.
Before the Irish Le Richebourg going favourite, the previous gelding at the top of the market was the Paul Nicholls trained Dynamite Dollars who had also raced five times prior the Grade 1 at Prestbury Park but will not take part again due to a season ending injury.
Out of those five races two wins were in Grade 2s and the other at Sandown in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices Chase and looked to be the one to beat in the contest.
Another entered horse that now looks doubtful for the contest due to an injury setback is Willie Mullins best chance in that race with Cilaos Emery.
This seven year old has had three runs prior to wanting to head to the festival and his latest really would have put him in amongst the top of the market beating 17 other runners in a beginners chase.
All of these non runners have made for what was going to be one of the most tightly contested Arkle's in its history but also one of the most talented races of the festival.