Arkle Chase Tips - 2:10pm Cheltenham

2019 Arkle Challenge Trophy Preview

When looking at the Arkle Challenge Trophy you only have to glance at the roll of honour to see that horses from two trainers in particular are worth close inspection. Willie Mullins has won three of the last four renewals and Nicky Henderson has won the race six times in total.

With Henderson having a rare blank season with his two mile chasers the door is well and truly left wide open for Mullins to add to his impressive record.

Leading contender from the yard was Cilaos Emery, the 7yo was a decent 5th in the Supreme Novice Hurdle two years ago and then went on to beat Melon at the Punchestown Festival. He bolted up on his chase debut but has since sustained a small injury.

Stablemate Duc Des Genievres has a live chance despite dropping back in trip after an impressive win last time out over 2m4f. He was 5th behind Samcro last year in the Ballymore and the JLT has always been on his agenda but Mullins thinks the stiff 2m here could just play into his hands and as a result is very much one to consider. Paul Townend takes the ride and looks a danger to all.

Fellow Irish trainer Gordon Elliott will be hoping for better luck this year, he has yet to make the frame in this race but has a runner in the Gigginstown colours with Hardline, he was never up to Grade 1 standard over hurdles but bagged the big prize at Limerick to make it three victories from his first four starts since switching to the bigger obstacles. Last time out he ran a funny sort of race at Leopardstown but again finished in the frame behind Le Bague Au Roi.

The 7yo has never raced outside of Ireland so he has that to overcome but he’s a safe jumper and should give a good account.

Henry de Bromhead is one trainer that has a soft spot for the Arkle, he won this back in 2010 with Sizing Europe and has had placed horses for the last three years so he knows what it takes to get the job done.

His main runner is Ornua who is 3 from 7 over fences this season. His best run was at Sandown when finishing second to Dynamite Dollars in the Henry VIII Chase back in December. More required here but could be another one for the frame from this stable.

De Bromhead also has Paloma Blue who was beaten on his debut at Navan when odds on but made amends at Leopardstown in December when beating Moon Over Germany by an impressive 6 ½ lengths. He has Festival form from last year when he was a good 4th in the Supreme so he looks a worthy contender.

One of the leading novice chasers from Ireland, according to the figures, is Le Richebourg trained by Joseph O’Brien. Unfortunately a late injury has ruled him out for the season which leaves the race wide open.

The yard has a decent substitute in Us And Them who was a decent second behind Le Richebourg last time out. He has a bit find with some of these but deserves to take his chance and JJ Slevin will ride.

The home team is pretty strong this year and Kayley Woollacott’s Lalor heads the challenge. The 7yo was very impressive on his chasing debut when slamming Dynamite Dollars by 7 lengths here at Cheltenham in November. He went straight to the head of the ante-post lists for this race and was an odds on favourite to follow up at Sandown next time out.

I’m not sure what went wrong that day but he was never really going with the same enthusiasm, he battled on to finish third behind Dynamite Dollars and Ornua and the tacky ground was the excuse put forward.

If he can bounce back here he will take all the beating and it would be a very emotional success for the trainer who took over the licence from her husband last year.

Another horse on a retrieval mission is Kalashnikov, he was beaten last time out by Dynamite Dollars when a very short priced favourite at Kempton. This followed two easy victories at Warwick and Plumpton and now needs to show his running at Sandown last time was just a blip.

Kalashnikov won the Betfair Hurdle last season before finishing second to Somerville Boy in the Supreme Hurdle. He has undoubted ability and looks sure to be thereabouts if can get back to his best.

Glen Forsa is an interesting runner for Mick Channon, he won at Chepstow and Kempton before landing the rearranged Kingmaker Chase at Sandown last time out. He looks an improving sort and could upset some of the more high profile yards here.

Gary Moore has a promising sort in Knocknanuss, he’s a free going sort who will probably make the running. He came down on his debut at Plumpton but won his next two starts in emphatic style. He then was beaten by the French horse Master Dino back at Plumpton over 19f but remains an interesting runner.

Punters Lounge Tip: Lalor 3/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet

Arkle Chase Trends
Arkle Chase Previous Winners
2019Duc Des Genievres6Paul TownendWillie Mullins5/1
2018Footpad6Ruby WalshWillie Mullins5/6
2017Altior7Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson1/4
2016Douvan6Ruby WalshWillie Mullins1/4
2015Un de Sceaux7Ruby WalshWillie Mullins4/6
2014Western Warhorse6Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe33/1
2013Simonsig7Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson8/13
2012Sprinter Sacre6Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson8/11
2011Captain Chris7Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs6/1
2010Sizing Europe8Andrew LynchHenry de Bromhead6/1
2009Forpadydeplasterer7Barry GeraghtyTom Cooper8/1

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