Arkle Challenge Trophy Tips 2022 Day 1 (2.10pm): Cheltenham Festival

The Arkle Challenge Trophy provides a test for racing’s best national hunt chasers over the minimum trip of just under two miles and this race looks set to be a showdown between Shishkin and Energumene.

Put The Kettle On became the fifth Irish horse in the last six years to win this race, overcoming Fakir D’oudairies in what was not a vintage Arkle fixture.

The race is named after racing legend Arkle, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times in the 1960s.

Nicky Henderson has a great chance to get back on the board in this race for the first time since Altior crossed the line first in 2017.


2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Preview

The second race of the Cheltenham Festival is the Arkle Chase, due off at 2.10pm on Tuesday 15th March and we Dave has a preview and betting tip for the race .

This race has really been a huge stepping stone for some great horses, who have gone on to achieve further glory in their careers. Previous winners include Moscow Flyer, a dual winner of the Tingle Creek; Sprinter Sacre (2012), Timeform’s third-best Chaser ever and Altior who shone over a glittering 21-win career, which included 10 G1s. Although this year doesn’t look to have that potential superstar it’s a very wide-open race, you could make a case for any of the runners and this year could be a year to throw a lot of the stats out the window.


Edwardstone (2/1 with Paddy Power NRNB)

If nothing a very consistent horse over hurdles, the highest-rated of the Arkle field over hurdles being rated 150 over them with some solid form, 6th in Shiskins Supreme, 3rd in last year’s Betfair Hurdle and 6th in the County Hurdle.  But he has really come to his own over the bigger obstacles.

However, if someone said at the beginning of the season that he would be favourite for this year’ss Arkle (Even without Ferny Hollow) you would have thought they were mad. That is exactly what has happened though and is very much the rightful favourite. He has improved a massive amount for jumping a fence and is currently rated 9lbs higher than he was over hurdles. With the exception of being brought down on his first outing over fences, he has a perfect 4/4 record and has improved with every run.

The Henry VIII chase was really when he popped up on most people’s radars, although the favourite Third Time Lucki massively underperformed, so it seemed. It was Edwardstone’s jumping that really caught the eye and how he just galloped so strongly to the line.

He then backed that performance up again over Christmas at Kempton, when Tom Cannon asked him to win his race after 3 out, the response was instant, and the rest had no answer. After the race he was being compared the likes of previous Arkle Winners My Way de Solzen and Voy Por Ustedes, that’s how good Alan King thinks he is.

Last time out was as impressive as he’s been. On a track that was more in favour of his main rival Third Time Lucki, who had come back to form himself with an easy success at Doncaster in a Grade 2. He really put up a performance that any of his Irish challengers would have been proud of. He never looked in any danger in any part of the race. Jumping with pinpoint accuracy, he travelled so strongly without being keen and once again when Tom Cannon shook him up after 2 out, he picked up kept on and was ridden out to win by a comfortable 4 ¼ Lengths. This is, in my opinion, the best performance put up by any of the contenders and one they all have to better.


Blue Lord (3/1 with Paddy Power NRNB)

He has really been able to settle into his races over fences whereas over hurdles he always took a very keen hold and always wanted to go faster than the jockey would let him. The horse made a more than satisfactory debut over fences, beating stablemate El Barra, pretty much making all and jumping and travelling strongly to win as the odds suggested.

His next race was only a 3-runner race but he beat two very useful rivals in Lifetime Ambition, (by 20 Lengths) who beat some very good horses in his beginner then was placed 4th in a grade one and Dancing on My Own (a further 9 Lengths back), a winner of his beginner’s chase.

His next race the Irish Arkle saw him beat three of his potential rivals for this race, albeit some said he was a lucky winner, he again showed how consistent he is with a near faultless performance. A stewards was called for “cutting up” the second but he kept the race. I was very enthusiastic about him before the Irish Arkle, but you could have run the race 3 times and have 3 different winners. The race did dampen my enthusiasm about him slightly although the stats are in is favour.  But the race at Cheltenham will be a completely different race with the focus a lot more speed which may just suit him.


Riviere D’Etel (4/1 with Coral)

She has been an absolute sensation for connections over fences, a 133 rated hurdler now rated 150 over fences. She has been beautifully campaigned by Gordon Elliot taking full advantage of not only the mares’ allowance but the weight for age too. Running from the front, jumping perfectly and winning her first 3 chase starts by a total of 44 lengths, beating the likes of Cape Gentleman, Embittered and Jeremy’s Flame and although they aren’t Grade One horses, she beat them like they were standing still. It wasn’t until she met the one-time ante-post favourite for this race Ferny Hollow did she suffer defeat giving him 9lbs. She just couldn’t live with him in the end, it was a tough old race that saw Ferny Hollow ruled out for the remainder of the season after that.

For the first time too, she was jumping out to the right although that would be of no concern. However, 14 lengths behind her back in third was another potential Arkle contender in Coeur Sublime, who had previously got within 4 lengths of Ferny Hollow himself, so some more very strong form.

Her next race was in the Irish Arkle where again she took the bull by the horse and took it up from 2 out making it a real stamina test over the stiff track and 2m1f. When put under pressure at the last she jumped right again and made a costly mistake. Granted she did rally but gave away valuable ground which let Blue Lord cut in and take the rail and more importantly the win.

My one big thing about this mare is she has had 5 runs over fences. Yes, her form figures read 11122 but this is exactly it, they exploited her allowance and as that goes down she has and will struggle more against the boys. She will be 2lbs worst off with Blue Lord at Cheltenham just receiving the 7lbs mares’ allowance and how much more is she going to improve? I feel she has done all her winning for this season and will fall back in to mares or even handicaps next year.


Haut En Couleurs (8/1 with Coral)

Probably the most unexposed of all the runners, Haut En Couleurs came over to Willie Mullins and was pitched straight in to Grade 1 company in the Triumph last year, where he came a very respectable 3rd with two notable horses in behind him that day in Zanahiyr and Tritonic. That surely showed how much Willie thought of the horse and he didn’t disappoint one bit. He was third in the Punchestown 4yo hurdle with this time Zanahiyr reversing the form with him.

His chasing career got off to a very convincing start, then in the Irish Arkle fell after 3 fences so didn’t really see what he could do up against this company. Coming from France it was a massive surprise that he was the one that fell, they are usually such solid jumpers. Reports say he has been schooling well at home and could be the potential mass improver in the field but falling before the festival is a big negative stat to overcome.


Saint Sam (10/1 with Coral)

This is the most underrated horse in the top of the betting and was seen as Willie’s triumph horse last year but after a couple of defeats to Zanahiyr and Quilixios his sights were then set to the Boodles where he was a very good second off a big weight with Riviere Detel back in 7th that day. He has only had the two chase starts to date and won from the front, like a lot of his rivals in this race has jumped with great accuracy. Interestingly that day he beat El Barra by over 10 Lengths whereas Blue Lord beat him by 5 ½ Lengths.

The next time in the Irish Arkle he went off like a rocket, kind of went out as a sacrificial lamb to keep the pressure on Riviere D’Etel. He went way to quick, jumping was as consistent with a lot of silly mistakes, which would have used up more energy. It was eye-catching how he was staying on again towards the end of the race and coming back to the front two.

So, with a different ride next time, he could get closer. One key point is you would think Willie would split his 3 up and send one to the turners to take on Bob Olinger. In my opinion Saint Sam is the most likely one. Hes not going to send Blue Lord, Haut En Couleurs looks a 2miler and with so few runs it could be a bit early to step him up in trip. Saint Sam looks to have stamina and the race at the Irish Arkle showed that too.


2022 Arkle Betting Tip

EDWARDSTONE – 2/1 with Paddy Power (NRNB)

With no superstar in the race it is very wide open. My selection is the one on performances this year they have all to beat. The most solid horse in the field, albeit that I do expect the bookies to take him on for the very reason that the race is so wide open and also can see one of Willie’s being backed in as a potential massive improver. But my pick seems to be improving with every run, his form is very good. He has plenty of Cheltenham experience and although the stats are against him in the fact that 8-year-olds can’t win the Arkle (Sizing Europe and Moscow Flyer the last two to do so) and question whether he can win, good horses break the stats, and that good horse is Edwardstone and I think he will win the Arkle Challenge Trophy 2022.


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Arkle Trophy Trends

  • Age – 11 of the last 12 winners were aged 6 or 7
  • Price – 6 of the last 12 favorites have won, 9/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
  • Last Run – 9 of the last 12 winners ran within the last 51 days, 11/12 won on their last start before Cheltenham
  • 3/12 winners ran in the Arkle Novice Chase (Leopardstown) on their last run, 3 of the 3 won
  • 2/12 winners ran in the Game Spirit Chase (Newbury) on their last run, 2 of the 2 won
  • Previous Course Form – 11 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 run at Cheltenham previously, 6/12 had at least 1 win previously at Cheltenham
  • Previous Distance Form – 9/12 winners had at least 5 previous runs over 15-17 furlongs, 8/12 had at least 3 wins over 15-17 furlongs
  • Previous Hurdle Form – 12/12 winners had at least 4 runs over hurdles, 10/12 had at least 2 wins over hurdles
  • Previous Chase Form – 11/12 winners had at least 2 previous chase runs, 12/12 winners had at least 1 chase win, 8/12 had at least 2 chase wins
  • Rating – 10/12 winners were rated 151 or higher
  • Graded Wins – 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous win in a grade 1 or grade 2 race
  • Season Form – 11/12 winners had at least 3 runs that season, 12/12 had at least 1 win that season, 8/12 had at least 2 wins that season.


Arkle Challenge Trophy Last 10 Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2010 Sizing Europe A E Lynch Henry De Bromhead
2011 Captain Chris Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2012 Sprinter Sacre Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2013 Simonsig Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2014 Western Warhorse Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2015 Un De Sceaux Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2016 Douvan Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Altior Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson
2018 Footpad Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2019 Duc Des Genievres Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2020 Put The Kettle On Aidan Coleman Henry De Bromhead


Arkle Trophy 2020 Result

1st – Put the Kettle On (16/1)

2nd – Fakir D’oudairies (3/1)

3rd – Rouge Vif – (9/1)

4th – Global Citizen (33/1)



Arkle Trophy FAQs

  • Who will win the Arkle?

    Shiskin in the 10/11 favourite and Energumene is 9/4 in the latest Arkle betting odds and our prediction for the race is Shishkin to win.

  • When is the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival?

    Tuesday 16th March, 1.55pm. The Arkle is the second race of the Cheltenham Festival.

  • Are there free bets for the Arkle?

    Yes. Visit our Cheltenham free bets page and see all the latest sign-up offers, promotions and price boosts for new and existing customers at Cheltenham.


2021 Cheltenham Festival Tips