Arkle Chase Betting Tips

  • 15/03/2022
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Shishkin ridden by jockey Nico de Boinville clears a fence on the way to winning the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

In our guide to the Arkle Chase betting, our racing experts take a look at this big fixture from the opening day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. We examine some of the history of the Arkle and provide some insight about where to potentially focus betting.

While punters wait for the final declarations for the running of the Arkle Chase Challenge Trophy, our tipsters look at the all-important trends of how to pick an Arkle winner along with some of the key ante-post contenders. 

Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin got his nose in front to land the 2021 edition of the Arkle. Closer to the start of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, there will be further tips about who could be the one to follow in his footsteps.


Arkle Chase Tips – Overlooked Outsiders

In last year’s Arkle, one of the big Cheltenham Festival highlights came from Shishkin, ridden by Nico de Boinville. Shishkin pencilled his name into the history books by winning the 2021 renewal by a massive 12 lengths from Eldorado Allen.

Our tips for this year’s edition will be released later when the list of Arkle Chase runners is finalised and all current form is up to date. 

Once the declared runners are announced, we will be going into depth with our tips for the key contenders in Arkle betting and the outsiders in the field.

Underdogs have their day at any meeting, and one of the biggest stages for it to happen is the Cheltenham Festival. The Arkle has churned out plenty of short-priced winners recently, with the likes of powerhouses Douvan, Altior and Footpad taking a victory.

But in 2020, Put The Kettle On defied 16/1 SP odds with a prominent run. After opening at 20/1 in the Arkle betting market, she had at one point gone out to 25/1 before shortening dramatically on the day. The win for Put The Kettle On saw her become the first mare to land the 2m Grade 1 contest in four decades.

We’ll have more on this year’s underdogs closer to the time.


Arkle Chase Runners – Tuesday 15th March 2:10

NUMBER SILKS HORSE TRAINER/JOCKEY
1 Blue Lord T: Willie Mullins

J: Paul Townend

2 Brave Seasca T: Venetia Williams

J: Charlie Deutsch

3   Coeur Sublime T: Henry De Bromhead

J: Rachael Blackmore

4 Edwardstone T: Alan King

J: Tom Cannon

5 Gabynako T: Gavin Cromwell

J: Keith Donoghue

6 Haut En Couleurs T: Willie Mullins

J: Bryan Cooper

7 Red Rookie T: Emma Lavelle

J: Tom Bellamy

8 Saint Sam T: Willie Mullins

J: Sean O’Keeffe

9 War Lord T: Colin Tizzard

J: Brendan Powell

10 Magic Daze T: Henry De Bromhead

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

11 Riviere D’etel T: Gordon Elliott

J: Jack Kennedy


Arkle Chase Odds 2023

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds
Edwardstone

-B1111

J:Tom Cannon
T:Nicky Henderson
2/1
Blue Lord

F-3111

J:Paul Townend
T:Willie Mullins
7/2
Riviere D’etel

-11122

J:Jack Kennedy
T:Gordon Elliott
4/1
Haut En Couleurs

13-31F

J:Bryan Cooper
T:Willie Mullins
8/1
Saint Sam

22-513

J:Sean O’Keeffe
T:Willie Mullins
8/1
Coeur Sublime

47-231

J:Rachael Blackmore
T:Henry De Bromhead
16/1
Magic Daze

2-4313

J:Darragh O’Keeffe
T:Henry De Bromhead
16/1
Gabynako

-52123

J:Keith Donoghue
T:Gavin Cromwell
20/1
Brave Seasca

-61113

J:Charlie Deutsch
T:Venetia Williams
25/1
War Lord

7-1121

J:Brendan Powell
T:Colin Tizzard
40/1
Red Rookie

14-2F1

J:Tom Bellamy
T:Emma Lavelle
25/1

While we can’t yet fully size up the betting market for the Arkle, there are some indicators to be looked at in the ante-post. The final declarations for a Cheltenham Festival race come 48 hours before the start time, a rule change made in 2018.

So that’s the point at which the final field will be released for the Arkle. But yards prepare contenders for the race a long way ahead of time. Some will be coming in fresh from an absence on a reappearance effort, while others will have been primed through other work throughout the season.

Edwardstone could be going to the Arkle for Alan King after a superb performance in December’s Wayward Lad at Kempton. That saw him continue his authority as one of the best two-mile novice chasers around, leaving him as one of the current front runners in Arkle Chase ante-post betting. 

Another likely to produce a challenge is top Irish Arkle Chase contender Ferny Hollow. The Willie Mullins’ charge took rapid-fire back to back wins at Punchestown and Leopardstown in December 2021. The latter was in a huge Grade 1 clash with Riviere D’etel, who could well re-oppose him at the Arkle.

Willie Mullins also has Blue Lord in fantastic shape, having won the last twice and re-affirming his status with a Naas 2m score in early January. With his stablemate Ferny Hollow potentially taking centre stage in the Arkle, there’s a chance that Blue Lord could go to the Champion Hurdle instead of playing second string in the Arkle.

Watch for the latest Arkle Chase tips as the race, scheduled for Tuesday, 15th March 2023 nears.


How to pick an Arkle winner  

Our tipsters will be applying their expertise to the 2023 Arkle field to produce the top betting tips. Looking at some past trends is an excellent way to try and analyse which way to go in the current market.

Four of the last six winners of the Arkle Chase have been six-year-olds, with only Altior and Shiskin breaking that trend since 2016 as 7-year-old winners.

Since the turn of the century, there have only been four winners of the Arkle who weren’t either 6 or 7-year-old runners. Those bucking the big age trend for the Arkle were 8-year-olds Moscow Flyer (2002) and Sizing Europe (2010), while Well Chief (2004) and Voy Por Ustedes (2006) did it as 5-year-olds.

What about backing favourites when it comes to Arkle Chase horse racing betting? There has been a trend in the last decade too, which could support taking some big consideration of the market favourite. 

Seven of the last ten winners of the Arkle have been an odds-on FAV. However, on the flip side of that, from an Arkle betting perspective, of the other three of the last ten winners, two of those were priced at 16/1 or bigger.

  • 2021 Shiskin 4/9F
  • 2020 Put The Kettle On 16/1
  • 2019 Duc De Genievres 5/1
  • 2018 Footpad 5/6F
  • 2017 Altior 1/4F
  • 2016 Douvan 1/4F
  • 2015 Un De Sceaux 4/6F
  • 2014 Western Warhorse 33/1
  • 2013 Simonsig 8/15F
  • 2012 Sprinter Sacre 8/11F

It’s generally a good idea to lean towards the top yards, notably Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins. Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of the Arkle, having produced seven winners, including five since 2000.

Willie Mullins has come up with four of the last seven, notably each of the last three of his Arkle winners being 6-year-olds. Since 2012 when Nicky Henderson’s Sprinter Sacre took the honours, there have only been four different trainers to have won the Arkle – Henderson, Willie Mullins, David Pipe, and Henry de Bromhead.

The leading jockeys in the Arkle are Barry Geraghty, and Ruby Walsh, locked together on four wins each. The partnership of Nico de Boinville and trainer Nicky Henderson has taken two of the last five Arkle renewals.


All About The Arkle Challenge Trophy: Past and Present

The Arkle is a Grade 1 chase of a distance of (almost) 2m. It’s hosted on the Old Course at Cheltenham and is only for novice chasers. Novices are horses that haven’t won a race in the particular sphere (in this case, chasing) before the start of the current season.

Even if a horse wins as a novice, they stay a novice until the end of that season, so any novice can actually stack up wins and still be under the label.

There are 13 fences in the Arkle, which was moved from its slot on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival to the opening day for the first time in 1980. To give the race its full name, the Arkle Challenge Trophy replaced the former Cotswold Chase in 1969.

It is one of the top 2m contests in UK & Irish racing and generally is a big feeder event for another of the Festival’s big 2m fixtures, the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Only five-year-olds and up can take on the challenge and mares can claim a 7lb allowance for the Arkle.

The name “Arkle” is a nod towards one of the greatest Cheltenham Gold Cup horses from the annals of history. That’s the eponymous Arkle who won the Festival’s Blue Riband event for three straight years in the mid-1960s. He also dominated the Hennessy Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase. Arkle’s skeleton now stands in place at the Irish National Stud. 


What is the Arkle Chase Prize Money in 2023?

As of 2021, the prize money for the Arkle was £131,250. That’s the total purse for the race, with the winner collecting £73,854.37. The scale slid down to five prize money places which were 2nd £27,824.99, 3rd £13,925.63 4th £6,956.25 5th £3,491.25. The 2023 Arkle Chase Prize money details are yet to be released at the time of writing.


Arkle Chase Past Winners 

Because this is a Novices’ Chase, a horse can only win the Arkle once in their career. But the race has produced some fantastic winners in the past who have gone on to even bigger things. 

The 1978 winner Alverton for example, returned to the Cheltenham Festival the following year to claim the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

The likes of Moscow Flyer, Voy Por Ustedes, Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Put The Kettle On have all picked up victories in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, having been a former Arkle winner.

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2010 Sizing Europe 6/1 A E Lynch Henry De Bromhead
2011 Captain Chris 6/1 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2012 Sprinter Sacre 8/11F Barry Geragthy Nicky Henderson
2013 Simonsig 8/15F Barry Geraghty Nicky Hendesron
2014 Western Warhorse 33/1 Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2015 Un de Sceaux 4/6F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2016 Douvan 1/4F Ruby Walsh WIllie Mullins
2017 Altior 1/4F Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson
2018 Footpad 5/6F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2019 Duc des Genievres 5/1 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2020 Put The Kettle On 16/1 Aidan Coleman Henry de Bromhead
2021 Shishkin 4/9F Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson

Other Races on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival

The Arkle Chase is just one of seven races for the day’s card at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, 15th March 2023. The day starts with the hugely popular Supreme Novices,’ while the big feature race of the day is the Champion Hurdle Trophy. Here is the complete list of races on Day 1 of the Festival.

13:30 The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 The Arkle Challenge Trophy

14:50 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

15:30 The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

16:10 The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

16:50 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

17:30 The National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Steeple Chase