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Arkle Challenge Trophy 2021 Racecard

The Arkle Challenge Trophy – sometimes known as just the ‘Arkle’ - is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase which takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March. In November 2020, it was announced that Sporting Life would be the new sponsor of the race.

1:55 Tue 16 Mar ARKLE CHALLENGE TROPHY

Distance: 15f 199y Age: 5yo + Prize: £131,250 Going: Gd/Sft

Analyst's Verdict

The absence of Energumene robs us of what could have been the race of the meeting and it now looks a relatively straightforward task for the hugely exciting SHISHKIN, who can provide Nicky Henderson with a seventh win in this contest. The front-running Allmankind has taken really well to fences and he can hold on for second from Captain Guinness.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
1
jockey silks 1. ALLMANKIND
J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
5
11-4
* * * *
* * * *
One of the best juvenile hurdlers around last season and this front runner has quickly made into an even better chaser, winning Henry VIII at Sandown and Kingmaker at Warwick on last 2 starts.
2
jockey silks 2. CAPTAIN GUINNESS (IRE)
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
6
11-4
* * *
* * *
Came a long way in a short space of time over hurdles last term. Has also quickly developed into a smart chaser but Energumene was way too good for him at Naas. Fell at Leopardstown since.
3
jockey silks 3. ELDORADO ALLEN (FR)
J: Harry Cobden
T: Colin Tizzard
7
11-4
* *
* *
Made good start over fences with wins at Newton Abbot and here but never competitive behind Allmankind in Henry VIII at Sandown and no match for Shishkin at Doncaster in January. Tongue tie added.
4
jockey silks 4. FRANCO DE PORT (FR)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-4
* * *
* * *
Won first 2 starts over fences, the second a Leopardstown Grade 1, but firmly put in his place by stablemate Energumene back at Leopardstown last month.
5
jockey silks 5. NUMITOR
J: Tom Scudamore
T: Heather Main
7
11-4
*
*
Chasing type who has duly relished the switch to fences this winter, winning pair of 2m handicaps, but he's not up to this level.
6
jockey silks 6. SHISHKIN (IRE)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
7
11-4
* * * * *
* * * * *
Won the Supreme last year and has quickly made up into Timeform's highest-rated novice chaser, easily winning all 3 starts this term, the latest a Doncaster Grade 2. Can't oppose.

Betting Forecast : 40/85 .47 SHISHKIN, 9/2 4.5 ALLMANKIND, 12/1 12 CAPTAIN GUINNESS, 14/1 14 FRANCO DE PORT, 66/1 66 ELDORADO ALLEN, 300/1 300 NUMITOR

First run in 1969 as a replacement for the Cotswold Chase, a previous event at the Cheltenham Festival which had been around since 1946, the race’s title pays tribute to Arkle, a three-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the mid-1960s.

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. In comparison, the 2019 renewal will carry a total prize fund of £175,000, with connections of the winning horse receiving nearly £100,000 alone.

The Arkle Challenge Trophy has a history of being won multiple times by trainers and jockeys - 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 two more wins, with the latter beating 18 other horses.

A.P. McCoy equalled Jamie Osborne’s three wins in 2004 when scoring on Well Chief, having also been aboard Or Royal and Champleve. Now a trainer, Osborne recorded a hat-trick as a jockey between 1992 and 1994, on Young Pokey, Travado, and Nakir for three different trainers, Oliver Sherwood, Nicky Henderson and Simon Christian.

Henderson is the leading trainer in the race, his six victories spanning 27 years - Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000), Sprinter Sacre (2012), Simonsig (2013) and Altior (2017).

As a result of Henderson’s success, Barry Geraghty – who rides most horses for the yard - is the leading rider in the race having registered four victories, with Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadytheplasterer (2009), Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig .

Although Sprinter Sacre produced an excellent performance when winning the 2012 Arkle Challenge Trophy, the best Arkle Challenge Trophy winners since the turn of the century have generally been trained in Ireland.

Willie Mullins has dominated the race in recent years, thanks to victories for Un de Sceaux in 2015, Douvan in 2016 and Footpad in 2018, all of whom produced top-class performances on Timeform’s scale and were ridden by Ruby Walsh . Mullins added another in 2019 – courtesy of Duc des Genievres – though he was ridden by Paul Townend.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Altior interrupted the winning run of Mullins, and while his performance wasn’t as good, he successfully returned to the Cheltenham Festival in both 2018 and 2019 to record wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Indeed, the Arkle Challenge Trophy brings together the best two-mile novice chasers, so it’s only natural that many will go on to become the best two-mile chasers when stepping out of novice company the following season.

Since the turn of the century, six horses have managed the double, namely Moscow Flyer (2002/2003), Azertyuiop (2003/2004), Voy Por Ustedes (2006/2007), Sizing Europe (2010/2011), Sprinter Sacre (2012/2013, and Altior (2017/2018).

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Arkle Challenge Trophy 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

1 mile, seven furlongs And 199 yards.

How many obstacles are jumped in the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

13

What day of the festival is the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

Day 1

What time is the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

14:10

What weights are carried for the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

11st 4lb. 7lb allowance for mares.

What is the purse for the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

£125,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the Arkle Challenge Trophy*?

Barry Geraghty

Who is the leading trainer in the Arkle Challenge Trophy*?

Nicky Henderson

Who won the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

You can check out our Arkle Challenge Trophy results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

Click the link to visit our Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1946

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

38% George Rooke's strike rate on favourites (rides OWEN LITTLE)
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