The Arkle Challenge Trophy has become one of the most popular races of the entire Cheltenham Festival in recent years, it always brings excitement on the first day with some top class winners like Forpadydeplasterer and Sizing Europe winning the Arkle over the past two years. The betting for the 2011 Arkle Challenge Trophy has now been opened up ahead of the new National Hunt season and we are seeing two classy types in Celestial Halo and Medermit assume the mantle of ante-post favourites for the race. Medermit looks the interesting horse in particular after a an excellent season last year, the grey had a good campaign in Champion Hurdle company and is now being targeting towards a season chasing.
Celestial Halo is a horse for Paul Nicholls that has shown flashes of brilliance during his career, however since winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2008 he has struggled slightly to make the big step up. He too was in the Champion Hurdle last year when finishing a creditable 4th place, he finished ahead of Medermit that day and as such has been installed at the top of the Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds alongside the Grey. It will be interesting to see how both Celestial Halo and Medermit start the season as they look ahead towards the Arkle, their early season form will affect their plans so connections will be hoping that both will take to the fences quickly.