We have seen some spectacular horses win the Arkle in recent seasons: Sprinter Sacre and Dovan just to name a couple. This race always produces excitement with novice two-milers tearing around Prestbury Park to become a champion.
Who won the Arkle in 2016?
Oh boy. Douvan was spectacular last season, justifying short price favouritism in fine style.
He wasn’t a backable price but the noise as he powered up the hill to win his second race at the Festival was deafening. The world is his oyster this season as he bids for his third straight win at the greatest show on turf in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, where once again he’s an odds-on favourite even at this early stage.
How to find the winner of the Arkle?
It’s common knowledge that top rated hurdlers usually fare very well when transferred to fences and that is shown by recent Arkle trends.
Only Voy Por Ustedes failed to post an official rating of over 142 over hurdles of the last 16 winners.
Arkle winners such as Tiutchev, Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, My Way De Solzen, Tidal Bay and Douvan all came into the race as the highest rated hurdler.
Respecting previous Cheltenham Festival form is a must for all punters that dabble at the Festival, and is especially relevant when punting in the Arkle as 11 of the last 12 winners had all won or placed at the Festival before.
Ante-post tip for the Arkle?
ALTIOR comes into the race as the top rated hurdler and at this stage looks a very strong Arkle contender despite lacking in betting value around the 6/4 mark.
He has made the transition from hurdles to fences like a real pro, showing his class when winning the Grade One Novices Chase at the Tingle Creek meeting.
I’d be confident he can see off the Willie Mullins-trained Min, like he did 12 months ago in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.