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2021 Arkle Tips – Three Horses To Follow This Season

  • We take a look through the betting for the 2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase
  • The Arkle is the second Grade One on day one of the Cheltenham Festival
  • We’ve picked out three horses to follow who could really progress during their first season over fences
  • We've also highlighted one horse who's not priced up for the Arkle, but could progress up to that sort of level
fiddlerontheroof
Fiddlerontheroof has been massively overlooked in the ante-post betting for the 2021 Arkle. (Getty)

The first Grade One for chasers at the Cheltenham Festival is the Arkle Challenge Trophy. This two-mile contest provides first season chasers with a strong test of both speed and stamina. Henry De Bromhead scored a surprise win in 2020, when his mare, Put The Kettle One held off Fakir D’Oudairies to claim a famous victory under Aidan Coleman.

2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds


Name
Best Odds
Shishkin4/1
Envoi Allen14/1
Captain Guinness20/1
Chantry House20/1
Bar25/1

Shishkin tops the market for next year’s Arkle, and it would be a shock if Nicky Henderson’s Supreme winner doesn’t take well to chasing. Envoi Allen also features prominently in the betting, but I can’t see Gordon Elliott sending a horse he feels is a future Gold Cup winner over two miles this term.

Here are three horses to follow who could shape up into Arkle contenders, and an outsider who’s not yet priced up, who’s certainly worth following too.

2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy Tips – Jump Horses To Follow


Captain Guinness


Captain Guinness2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy TipsGET 20/1 HERE
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Henry De Bromhead’s gelding made a last impression on his novice hurdles debut last season, carrying odds of 20/1 to victory in hugely impressive fashion at Navan. Despite losing out to Andy Dufresne in the Moscow Flyer, Captain Guinness wasn’t unfancied going into the Supreme. Rachael Blackmore’s mount was moving into contention coming down the hill, when the falling Elixir D’Ainey sprawled in front of him, and Captain Guinness was brought crashing to the ground.

Like Fiddlerontheroof, Captain Guinness is a big chasing type. Henry De Bromhead is a masterful handler when it comes to chasers. I expect this five-year-old to improve no end when he returns to action over the larger obstacles, and he will be De Bromhead’s number one hope of retaining the Arkle trophy in 2021.

Pic D’Orhy

Pic D’Orhy arrived at Ditcheat with a big reputation, and an even larger price-tag in 2018. Paul Nicholls threw his recruit straight into the Triumph Hurdle, where Pic D’Orhy ran well for the most part, only fading after a telling mistake at the second-last. Having finished a distant sixth on his reappearance, Harry Cobden’s mount went into the Betfair Hurdle as a 33/1 outsider last year. Pic D’Orhy produced an excellent display on the day, coming through late on to beat Ciel de Niege and land the biggest pot of his career.

On the back of that handicap triumph, Nicholls and his team pondered whether to supplement Pic D’Orhy into the Champion Hurdle. In the end, they decided to pull up stumps and focus on his novice chasing campaign. A big, strong gelding who’d certainly not devoid of pace. I expect Pic D’Orhy to dine at the top table during his first campaign over fences and he's sure to feature in many people's 2021 Arkle tips.

pic d'orhy
Pic D'Orhy (centre) comes through late on to win the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. (Getty)

Fiddlerontheroof


Fiddlerontheroof2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy TipsGET 40/1 HERE
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Colin Tizzard thought enough of Fiddlerontheroof to throw him straight into Grade Two company on debut. Tizzard’s newcomer ran a cracker, going down to Thyme Hill over two-and-a-half miles. A narrow defeat to Edwardstone followed, before Fiddlerontheroof secured back-to-back wins at Sandown, including a six-length romp in the Tolworth Hurdle. Like many of Colin Tizzard’s horses, Fiddlerontheroof underperformed on his Cheltenham Festival debut in the Supreme, finishing well down the field in 11th. 

The team were keen to stress last season that anything he achieved over hurdles was a bonus, and all eyes now switch to chasing. Although he’s more than capable of staying further than the minimum distance, I expect Fiddlerontheroof to be kept over two miles this term, with the Arkle his number one objective.

2021 Arkle Challenge Trophy Tips – No Odds


Highway One O Two


This horse really caught my eye at Plumpton last term, where he won two novice hurdles – the second under a penalty – by lengthy margins, despite looking very raw and keen. Chris Gordon’s youngster then made all to beat a couple of 140-rated rivals by four-and-a-half lengths in the Grade Two Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

Highway One O Two was a shell of a horse last season, and did plenty wrong during his races, making what he actually achieved all the more impressive. I’m hoping he’s filled out his frame during the summer, and he could make an appearance on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

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