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Cheltenham Festival

2019 Arkle Challenge Trophy Runners Guide: Lalor And Glen Forsa Among The Main Contenders For Wide Open Cheltenham Festival Race

Tuesday 12th March 2019
Lalor Is A Major Contender For The Arkle On The First Day Of The Cheltenham Festival
Lalor Is A Major Contender For The Arkle On The First Day Of The Cheltenham Festival

The eyes of the sporting world will fall on Prestbury Park today with the first day of Cheltenham results taking centre stage and the big races will be coming thick and fast.

The Champion Hurdle will of course be the feature race of the day but there is plenty of top support action, including the Arkle at 2.10pm with some of the best novice chasers in the business taking each other on,

The ante-post Arkle betting has been wide open all season with no stand-out name and that confusion has heightened in recent weeks with injuries to leading fancies like Le Richebourg and Dynamite Dollars.

There are still plenty of interesting contenders taking their chance in the race though and we have put together a handy guide for one of the big races on the first day of the best four days in the world of equine sport.

1. Articulum

No mug but did fall short of the highest level over hurdles and looks to have plenty on his plate at this level for Terence O'Brien. Did perform well in Naas success last time out and softer ground should suit the horse but others are preferred.

2. Clondaw Castle

Well beaten by Lalor in a bumper at Aintree two years ago but has progressed well over fences for Tom George and connections. Impressed with two wins in his last two starts at a lower level and should give his rider a good spin but ultimately is unlikely to be good enough.

3. Duc Des Genievres

Rated 148 over hurdles when running a respectable 5th in the Ballymore at the Festival last season but has not quite found his best form over fences yet. Penny seemed to drop up in trip when an easy winner at Gowran Park and does have enough class to be there or thereabouts. Only won one of his eight starts under rules.

4. Glen Forsa

Sharp improver for Mick Channon who is versatile in terms of trip and looks to be the horse with the momentum coming into the Arkle. Showed plenty of speed when beating Kalashnikov at Sandown last time but also won over 3m this term when chucked in a handicap at Chepstow back in November. Leading player.

5. Hardline

Comfortably beaten in the 2m5f Grade 1 at Leopardstown last time out but Grade 1 success at Limerick on Boxing Day looked very good for Willie Mullins. Connections deserve obvious respect and plenty of rain before the off could have a positive impact on his chances. A strong market mover this week.

6. Kalashnikov

Started the season as one of the most exciting horses in training but two defeats in his last two races have rather taken the shine off the 2018 Betfair Hurdle winner. Soft ground and a return to Cheltenham, where he finished 2nd in the Supreme last year, should be in his favour along with a return to a left-handed track. An each-way price.

7. Knocknanuss

Bold front runner who will look to set a strong gallop on the sharp end but a bad fall last time out is a worry and any rain will hinder his chances as well. Deserves to take his place in the field but conditions may have conspired against him.

8. Lalor

Destroyed them to win the Arkle Trial at Cheltenham back in November to emerge as a genuine contender for this contest but well beaten on his subsequent start at Sandown when 3rd in a Grade 1. Overly soft ground was to blame last time out so wouldn't want too much precipitation this afternoon but would have a chance on course and distance November win.

9. Ornua

An experienced chaser who has been on the go since last summer and takes his chance for a trainer in Henry De Bromhead who is one of the best in the business. Form behind Dynamite Dollars, and ahead of Lalor, at Sandown should be taken extremely serious in a wide open race. Very interesting but summer runs suggest that decent ground is wanted.

10. Paloma Blue

Extremely classy animal on his best day who finished 4th in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle for top class trainer and jockey. Had been expected to take the highest order as a novice chaser but jumping has left more than a little to be desired. Has a chance on class but no hope unless his technique at the fences has improved out of sight.

11. Slate House

A horse who started his career with a big reputation coming out of the point-to-pointing sphere but has never been able to show that under rules for Colin Tizzard. Nothing in the form book to suggest he is good enough and deserves to be the outsider of the field after three average runs this term.

12. Us And Them

Ultra consistent horse who has been beaten by Hardline and Le Richebourg this term but never seems to run a bad race for Joseph O'Brien. Well down the field in the Supreme last year which would be a worry but has improved over the bigger obstacles and not beyond the realms of possibilities that he runs on into a place for each-way players.

Arkle Prediction..

  1. Glen Forsa
  2. Kalashnikov
  3. Ornua

Arrkle Chase Betting

Hardline D N Russell / G Elliott 9/2 9/2 5 9/2 9/2 9/2 4 9/2 9/2
Glen Forsa J J Burke / M R Channon 9/2 4 9/2 9/2 4 9/2 9/2 9/2 9/2
Duc Des Genievres P Townend / W P Mullins 11/2 11/2 11/2 11/2 11/2 11/2 5 5 11/2
Lalor R Johnson / Mrs Kayley Woollacott 6 13/2 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Kalashnikov Jack Quinlan / Miss Amy Murphy 7 7 15/2 15/2 7 8 7 15/2 15/2
Paloma Blue R M Power / H de Bromhead 9 10 10 10 10 11 9 9 10
Ornua Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead 14 12 14 14 14 14 12 14 14
Us And Them Mr J J Slevin / Joseph P O'Brien 14 14 14 14 14 14 12 12 14
Knocknanuss J E Moore / G L Moore 22 25 25 28 28 25 22 25 28
Articulum D J Mullins / T O'Brien 28 28 28 28 28 28 25 28 28
Clondaw Castle C Gethings / T R George 28 25 28 28 28 28 28 28 28
Slate House Harry Cobden / C L Tizzard 66 80 80 66 66 66 66 50 66
Each Way Terms 3
1/5
3
1/5
- 3
1/5
4
1/5
3
1/4
3
1/5
3
1/4
3
1/5

Arrkle Chase Betting

BEST ODDS
1. Hardline D N Russell / G Elliott
5
FREE BET ODDS
5
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
4
2. Glen Forsa J J Burke / M R Channon
9/2
FREE BET ODDS
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
9/2
4
4
3. Duc Des Genievres P Townend / W P Mullins
11/2
FREE BET ODDS
11/2
11/2
11/2
11/2
11/2
5
5
4. Lalor R Johnson / Mrs Kayley Woollacott
7
FREE BET ODDS
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
13/2
6
5. Kalashnikov Jack Quinlan / Miss Amy Murphy
8
FREE BET ODDS
8
15/2
15/2
7
7
7
7
6. Paloma Blue R M Power / H de Bromhead
11
FREE BET ODDS
11
10
10
10
10
10
9
9
9
7. Ornua Rachael Blackmore / H de Bromhead
14
FREE BET ODDS
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
12
12
8. Us And Them Mr J J Slevin / Joseph P O'Brien
14
FREE BET ODDS
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
12
12
9. Knocknanuss J E Moore / G L Moore
28
FREE BET ODDS
28
28
28
25
25
25
25
22
22
10. Articulum D J Mullins / T O'Brien
28
FREE BET ODDS
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
25
11. Clondaw Castle C Gethings / T R George
28
FREE BET ODDS
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
28
25
12. Slate House Harry Cobden / C L Tizzard
80
FREE BET ODDS
80
80
66
66
66
66
66
66
50
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 08:10 . Odds are subject to change.
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