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The Arkle Chase is invariably won by a real star of the National Hunt game and this season's race is sure to attract another incredible cast with Willie Mullins' Douvan heavily fancied to make it back-to-back victories at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Arkle - Tuesday's two mile showpiece

This is the Champion Chase for novices (2:05pm). It is run over two miles, and is open to horses aged five years old and upwards. The total prize fund is £150,000.

In 2017, the race was run on Tuesday, March 14.

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Expert Arkle Trophy tips

The form book is often a good guide to the race and shocks in the Arkle are few and far between. 

The fields for this event tend to be smaller than for most of the other races at the Festival, but that doesn’t stop it from being a real test for novices, who have to travel and jump faster than they ever have before.

After such a stern examination, it is probably not surprising that the winner of the race almost invariably goes on to take top rank amongst the countries’ leading two mile chasers. Flagship Uberalles, Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop and Voy Por Ustedes are just a few of the horses who have gone on from winning this race in recent years to win a subsequent renewal of the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
The race is also proving to be a significant stepping stone to future success in the Gold Cup. Both the 2005 (Kicking King) and 2006 (War of Attrition) Gold Cup winners had run in this race the year previously and Best Mate would have too were the meeting not abandoned due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

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Arkle Trophy Selections

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Expert Arkle Chase Tips & Selections

TipsterSelectionRationaleTip
Ruby WalshAltior 1/3He seems to handle all types of ground and doesn't get ruffled.Read
Barry GeragthyAltior 1/3He'd win on the bridle.Read
Ruby WalshRoyal Caviar (place)If he reproduces his Leopardstown run he could be the one to chase Henderson’s hot-pot home.Read
Nina CarberryAltior + CharbelI think Charbel can follow Altior home for the forecast.Read
Jonathan VineCharbel (w/o Altior) 5/2Identity Thief has plenty of pedigree and Forest Bihan looks like an interesting customer, but CHARBEL looks most likely to give the favourite a run for his money.Read
Brian HealyRisk-free treble 8/1Altior, Yanworth and Limini all to win.Read

Arkle Trophy facts

1. The Arkle Challenge Trophy was inaugurated in 1969, after Arkle’s three wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964-66). In its first year, the race was worth £1,365, and was won by Chatham (10/1), trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe. The 2010 running has total prize money of £130,000. It was known as the Cotswold Chase before 1969.

2. The Irish Independent, which backed the Arkle Chase for the first time in 2000, is only the race’s third sponsor. Guinness sponsored from 1994 until 1999, having taken over from Waterford Castle, who had supported since the first sponsored running in 1991.

3. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has always been a fiercely contested event, and the following have gone on to other Championship victories at The Festival:

2006 Voy Por Ustedes (Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2007)

2003 Azertyuiop (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2004)

2002 Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2003 & 2005)

1999 Flagship Uberalles (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2002)

1995 Klairon Davis (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1996)

1991 Remittance Man (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1992)

1978 Alverton (Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1979).

Alverton is the only horse to have won both The Irish Independent Arkle Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

4. The lowest number of runners has been six in 2012, with just eight coming under orders in 1979, 1984 & 1993, while the biggest Arkle Chase field was 19 (1987 & 2005) - there were 25 runners in the Cotswold Chase in 1960. The current safety limit is 20.

5. The Irish Independent Arkle Chase has seen several trainers and jockeys run up strings of wins. Martin Pipe notched up successive wins with Or Royal in 1997 and Champleve in 1998 before Well Chief in 2004 and Contraband a year later gave him another brace of victories. Peter Easterby trained three winners - Alverton 1978, Clayside 1981 and Ryeman 1983. Among current trainers, Nicky Henderson leads the way with three successes (Remittance Man 1991, Travado 1993 and Tiutchev 2000), while both Paul Nicholls (Flagship Uberalles in 1999 and Azertyuiop in 2003) and Alan King, successful with My Way De Solzen in 2007 and Voy Por Ustedes in 2006, boast a pair of victories. Among jockeys, Jamie Osborne won three times, via a hat-trick between 1992 and 1994 on Young Pokey, Travado, and Nakir for three different trainers, Oliver Sherwood, Nicky Henderson and Simon Christian. Tony McCoy equalled Osborne’s three wins in 2004 when scoring on Well Chief, having also been aboard Or Royal (1997) and Champleve (1998).

6. Irish trainers have won The Irish Independent Arkle Chase 11 times, including five of the last 15 runnings with Klairon Davis (1995), Ventana Canyon (1996), Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadydeplasterer (2009) and Sizing Europe (2010).

7. The longest-priced winner is Gala’s Image, successful at 25/1 in 1987, while Pendil (1972) and Chinrullah (1979) are the shortest-priced scorers at 10/11. Six other favourites have won - Canasta Lad (1974), Clayside (1981), Bobsline (1984), Remittance Man (1991), Klairon Davis (1995) and Azertyuiop (2003).

8. The fastest time for the two miles of The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was 3m 46.5s by Tiutchev in 2000, beating the previous best of 3m 52.5s set by Or Royal in 1997.

9. Until 1980, The Irish Independent Arkle Chase was always run on the Wednesday of the National Hunt Festival. It now takes place on the opening day, Tuesday.

Recent winners

2017        Altior
2016        Douvan
2015        Un De Sceaux
2014        Western Warhorse
2013 Simonsig
2012 Sprinter Sacre
2011 Captain Chris
2010 Sizing Europe
2009 Forpadydeplasterer
2008 Tidal Bay
2007 My Way de Solzen
2006 Voy Por Ustedes
2005 Contraband
2004 Well Chief
2003 Azertyuiop
2002 Moscow Flyer
2000 Tiutchev
1999 Flagship Uberalles
1998 Champleve
1997 Or Royal
1996 Ventana Canyon
1995 Klairon Davis
1994 Nakir
1993 Travado
1992 Young Pokey
1991 Remittance Man
1990 Comandante
1989 Waterloo Boy
Roll of Honour (1946-1988)

1988 Danish Flight 9-11-08 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald 11/2
1987 Gala’s Image 7-11-08 Richard Linley Mercy Rimell 25/1
1986 Oregon Trail 6-11-08 Ronnie Beggan Simon Christian 14/1
1985 Boreen Prince 8-11-08 Niall Madden Andrew McNamara IRE 15/2
1984 Bobsline 8-11-08 Frank Berry Francis Flood IRE 5/4F
1983 Ryeman 6-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby 16/1
1982 The Brockshee 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Arthur Moore IRE 12/1
1981 Clayside 7-11-08 Alan Brown Peter Easterby 5/2F
1980 Anaglogs Daughter 7-11-08 Tommy Carberry Bill Durkan IRE 9/4
1979 Chinrullah 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE 10/11F
1978 Alverton 8-11-08 Graham Thorner Peter Easterby 5/2
1977 Tip The Wink 7-11-08 Dessie Hughes Pat Taylor 15/2
1976 Roaring Wind 8-11-08 Reg Crank Roy Cambidge 11/1
1975 Broncho II 6-11-11 Colin Tinkler Tony Dickinson 8/1
1974 Canasta Lad 8-11-11 Jeff King Peter Bailey 2/1F
1973 Denys Adventure 8-12-01 Graham Thorner Tim Forster 8/1
1972 Pendil 7-12-01 Richard Pitman Fred Winter 10/11F
1971 Alpheus 6-11-08 Eddie Wright Tom Dreaper IRE 15/1
1970 Soloning 5-11-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter 4/1
1969 Chatham 5-11-00 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell 10/1
1968 The Hustler 6-11-12 Barry Brogan Earl Jones 20/1
1967 Arctic Stream 7-12-02 Ben Hannon P Rooney IRE 8/1
1966 Arctic Sunset 6-12-06 George Milburn Ken Oliver 3/1
1965 Flyingbolt 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE 4/9F
1964 Greektown 8-11-08 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson 13/2
1963 Ben Stack 6-12-01 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE 13/8F
1962 Prudent Barney 8-12-01 Johnny East Bobby Renton 20/1
1961 Mountcashel King 6-12-04 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE 2/5F
1960 Mazurka 6-11-12 Ron Harrison Ron Smyth 10/1
1959 Flame Gun 8-12-04 Fred Winter Charlie Mallon 7/2
1958 Fortria 6-12-01 Tom Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE 7/2
1957 Ballyatom 5-11-04 Mr Bob McCreery George Beeby 8/1
1956 Sir Ken 9-12-03 Tim Molony Willie Stephenson 5/4F
1955 Manuscrit 5-11-00 Johnny Bullock Fulke Walwyn 10/1
1954 Armorial III 5-11-05 Rene Emery Fulke Walwyn 7/2F
1953 Bramble Tudor 5-11-12 Tim Molony Stewart Wight 11/4
1952 Nautical Print 5-11-00 Tommy Cusack Gerry Wilson 6/1
1951 Red Steel 5-11-00 Dick Francis Frank Cundell 4/1F
1950 High Level 5-11-04 Johnny Bullock Fred Rimell 9/2
1949 Grand Refrain 5-11-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris 9/4F
1948 Top Cash 6-12-05 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris 3/1
1947 No race (abandoned due to snow and frost)
1946 Bright Penny 6-11-12 Glen Kelly Bobby Norris 5/1

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