StevieDay1983 Posted March 2 Share Posted March 2 The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase is run on the old course and is actually 21 yards short of two miles. A couple of key stats for the race are that six or seven year olds have won nine of the last ten renewals (the exception being last years winner, the 8 year old Edwardstone) and nine of the last ten winners have finished first or second in all of their completed chase starts. This years renewal is maybe a shoot out between the two old foes Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson. Closutton maestro Mullins has the current favourite El Fabiolo who had several of these behind him when an impressive ten length winner of the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown at the beginning of February on only his second start over fences. He’s progressive and looks the best of the Mullins battalion which includes Appreciate It whose hat trick was thwarted by El Fabiolo in the aforementioned Irish Arkle and has ten lengths to find on his stable companion and according to his canny trainer is likely to step up in trip and run in the Turners. Just behind Appreciate It that day was another of the Mullins gang in Dysart Dynamo who had been so impressive previously at the same track on his chasing debut. The most interesting of the remainder of the Willie Mullins entries is probably Sir Gerhard, a classy eight year old who’s won the Champion Bumper and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the last two Festivals and won a three runner novice chase at Gowran Park by a long way on his chase debut in January. He holds entries in all three of the novice hurdles at this years Festival (as well as the Stayers Hurdle) but would be of interest wherever he runs. Nicky Henderson will saddle his smart Jonbon whose only career defeat came at last year’s Festival in the Supreme Novice Hurdle when a 22L runner up to Constitution Hill. He’s won all three of his novice chases at prohibitive odds with his latest 5 1/2L win in the Kingmaker at Warwick a fiddly old race where he didn’t impress everyone. There was only two runners that day and his rival Calico made a move at the 6th which appeared to take Jonbon by surprise who battled back well to win cosily in the end. There was only a neck between him and El Fabiolo at Aintree last season over hurdles and there is unlikely to be much between them this year round as well. Of the others Joseph O’Brien’s Banbridge has a bit to find on Irish Arkle form whilst Gavin Cromwell’s Final Orders is stepping out of handicap company chasing a six timer. This should be between the two principals in El Fabiolo and Jonbon with slight preference for the former. Punters Lounge Tip: El Fabiolo @ 5/4 NR NB at >William Hill - Click Here To Bet by The Brigadier Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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