14:10 Cheltenham

Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1)

  • 11 Runners
  • Distance: 1m 7f 199y
  • Going: Soft (Heavy in places)
  • Surface: Turf
  • £175,000 added
  • Winner: £98,472
  • 2nd: £37,100
  • 3rd: £18,568
  • 4th: £9,275
Weighed In
  • Winning Time: 4m 8.14s
  • Off Time: 14:11:52
  • 11 Ran
Silk - Dark Blue and White diabolo, hooped sleeves and cap

Al Dancer (FR)

  • Form 10-1242
  • Age 7
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 151

mid-division, not fluent 6th, hampered 10th, struggling after, well beaten after 3 out, hampered 2 out

Silk - Pink, red chevrons, pink sleeves, white stars, red cap, pink star
  • Form 4F42-11
  • Age 7
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 150

held up in rear, pecked slightly 6th, not fluent 7th, blundered and unseated rider 10th

Silk - Emerald green, yellow chevrons and sleeves, emerald green cap
  • Form 12-5112
  • Age 8
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 156

led until 2nd, led next, headed 4th, led approaching 5th, jumped right 9th, headed 3 out, soon dropped out, well beaten when fell 2 out

Silk - Royal Blue, Pink hoop
  • Form 410-211
  • Age 6
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 155

held up towards rear, headway when mistake 10th, chasing leaders 3 out, soon ridden and beaten, 5th and weakening when fell 2 out

Silk - Emerald green, yellow hoops, white cap
  • Form 42-2112
  • Age 5
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 154

prominent, led 2nd, soon headed, stayed handy, went 2nd after 3 out, shaken up and every chance when hit 2 out, 2 1/2 lengths down last, closed and threatened briefly flat, held towards finish

Silk - Pink, mauve star, mauve sleeves, pink stars and cap
  • Form 1417-41
  • Age 8
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 156

held up in rear, not always fluent, hampered 10th, soon pushed along, switched right and closed 3 out, went 3rd final bend before 2 out, no impression on front pair, lost 3rd last stride

Silk - Maroon, white star, armlets and star on cap
  • Form 0-21111
  • Age 7
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 158

held up in touch, squeezed up slightly after 3 out, unable to go with leaders before 2 out, weakened approaching last

Silk - Red, Grey diamond, Grey cap

Our Merlin

63 D
  • Form F92-541
  • Age 8
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 132

held up towards rear on outside, some headway 8th, lost place 9th, hampered next, soon tailed off, pulled up before 3 out

Silk - Light blue, red braces, white sleeves, red armlets, light blue and red quartered cap
  • Form 13-1421
  • Age 6
  • Weight 11-4
  • Official Rating 157

rear of mid-division, outpaced after 3 out, kept on from 2 out, went 3rd last stride but no chance with front pair

Silk - Yellow, red star, yellow sleeves, white armlets, yellow cap, royal blue star

Maire Banrigh

46 t D
  • Form 11-1111
  • Age 8
  • Weight 10-11
  • Official Rating 148

chased leaders on inside, close 3rd going fine when fell 10th

Silk - Orange and black (quartered), orange sleeves, black stars, orange cap, black star
  • Form 111121
  • Age 6
  • Weight 10-11
  • Official Rating 144

prominent, led after 2nd, headed next, led 4th until before 5th, led again 3 out, pressed 2 out, 2 1/2 lengths ahead last, edged slightly right flat and then slightly left, stayed on gamely and holding 2nd towards finish

Previous results

In depth


NOTEBOOK comfortably repelled Fakir D'oudairies in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and then held off Cash Back over the same course and distance last month. If Rachael Blackmore can keep him calm on the way to the start here, he should take all the beating. Brewin'upastorm is 2-2 over fences and ran well at The Festival last year but he’s not raced since November and this is a huge step up in class. Put The Kettle On beat Al Dancer and last month’s impressive Warwick winner Rouge Vif here in November and could be a huge price given she’s only been beaten over fences once so far. She is preferred to the other mare Maire Banrigh in a race that the Irish could dominate, though Esprit Du Large jumped well when winning the Henry VIII at Sandown and Global Citizen beat Rouge Vif and Al Dancer in the Wayward Lad at Kempton over Christmas, though has found Grade 1 company too hot to handle in the past.


Al Dancer (FR) 9-4 (11-3) Chased leader, challenged on bit 2 out, chased winner approaching last where not fluent, driven and stayed on run-in, 2nd of 4, 1l behind Mister Fisher (11-3) at Doncaster 2m (1) gs in Jan.

Brewin'upastorm (IRE) 8-15fav (11-8) Tracked leaders, left 2nd at 2nd, led 9th, ridden when not fluent last, ran on, won at Taunton 2m 2f (4) gd in Nov beating Southfield Stone (11-2) by 4l, 4 ran.

Cash Back (FR) 10-3 (11-10) Disputed lead early, led after 1st, joined and strongly pressed 2 out, ridden entering straight, headed narrowly before last, kept on under pressure in 2nd inside final furlong, 2nd of 6, 3/4l behind Notebook (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Feb.

Esprit Du Large (FR) 14-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders on outside, went close 2nd before 7th (water), led 3 out, ridden after next, stayed on when strongly pressed flat, held on well, won at Sandown 2m (1) sft in Dec beating Nube Negra (11-2) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.

Fakir D'Oudairies (FR) 11-8 (11-5) Disputed lead early, soon raced in 3rd, effort between horses and rider briefly without iron early straight, kept on well without matching winner run-in, 2nd of 5, 1 1/2l behind Notebook (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Dec.

Global Citizen (IRE) 8-1 (11-2) Jumped well, joined 3 out, ridden between last 2, in command before last, stayed on well, won at Kempton 2m (1) sft in Dec beating Rouge Vif (11-2) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.

Notebook (GER) 5-4fav (11-10) Keen to post, disputed lead early, headed after 1st and chased leader, improved to dispute lead travelling well 2 out, soon ridden, led narrowly before last, stayed on well under pressure inside final furlong, won at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Feb beating Cash Back (11-10) by 3/4l, 6 ran.

Our Merlin 9-2 (11-4) Towards rear, headway from before 4 out, about 4 lengths down in 2nd when left in lead 2 out, kept on well, won at Taunton 2m hcp (3) sft in Jan beating Coole Well (11-2) by 2 3/4l, 7 ran.

Rouge Vif (FR) 7-2 (11-0) Chased leader, led before 3 out, clear last, stayed on strongly, won at Warwick 2m (1) gs in Feb beating Nube Negra (11-0) by 7l, 6 ran.

Maire Banrigh 1-4fav (11-0) Chased leader, led before 2 out, clear last, ridden flat but in no danger, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f lst (1) sft in Jan beating Dalila Du Seuil (11-0) by 11l, 3 ran.

Put The Kettle On (IRE) 6-1 (10-9) Tended to jump right, made all, driven between last 2, ridden after last, stayed on strongly flat, won at Cheltenham 2m (1) sft in Nov beating Al Dancer (11-5) by 2 1/2l, 4 ran.