The Arkle trophy is sponsored again by the Racing Post for the third year running and is the second race (2.05) on the first day of Cheltenham (15th March 2016). Its a 2 mile grade one race for horses 5 years and over. The race was named after the horse “Arkle” who was a three time winner of the Cheltenham Gold cup in the 1960s. The race replaced the Cotswold chase in 1969 and has had other sponsors previously including Guinness and the Irish independent newspaper for over 10 years.
The Arkle – Pervious winners and form
LAst years race was won by the Favourite Un De Sceaux from an odds on position and we saw 33/1 shot Gods Own come in second. 2014’s race saw Champagne Fever beaten on the line by 33/1 outsider Western Warhorse. This was a really incredible race that saw him hit 999/1 in running for the win on Betfair and then come from nowhere to beat Champagne Fever up the hill. Prior to this the race has been won by the favourite in both 2012 & 2013. Prior to that you have to go back to 2003 for the last favourite horse to win this race. Barry Geraghty is the most prolific jockey of the last 6 races with 3 wins in total (Simonsig 2013, Sprinter Sacre 2012 & Forpadydeplasterer 2009). In the last 8 years a 7 year old horse has won the race 6 times.
The Racing Post Arkle 2015 preview
Again this year there is a Willie Mullins odds on shot for this race following on from Un De Sceaux we have wonder horse Douvan as the favourite. Douvan’s record is spectacular with 8 straight wins after finishing second in his first race. Many people have Douvan down as the banker of the festival but at best odds of 1.4 (available on the William Hill app) its a bit short for me personally.
Looking at the last 2 years we’ve seen a winner, Western Warhorse, and a 2nd place, Gods own, both of which were priced at 33/1. If you’re looking for some place money theres a chance of a decent return if we can find the right horse to race Douvan.
I can’t see any horse at those kind of odds that takes my fancy but for an each way shout I’m going for Garde La Victorie, currently best priced at 16/1. This horse comes to Cheltenham in great form on the back of 4 straight wins including one at Cheltenham in the November meeting. This is a 7 year old horse and the winner of the Arkle have been either 6 or 7 in 8 of the last 9 races. It come in to the race on a mark of 151 which is 9 behind top rated Douvan (160).