ARKLE NOVICES’ CHASE

The Arkle Novices' Chase is the championship race for 2-mile novice chasers, known formally as the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices' Chase.

It's a real test for young horses who must be able to jump the 13 fences at speed.

Grade 1 | 5yo+ novices | Tuesday 14.10
2 miles | 13 fences | Old Course
Weight: 11st 7lb* | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2023): £172,148 | 1st: £98,558
*11st 4lb from 2014 to 2022

Introduced in 1969 as a replacement for the Cotswold Chase, it pays tribute to the three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Arkle.

Many Arkle Chase winners have subsequently won the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

That includes the likes of Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, Voy Por Ustedes, Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Put The Kettle On.

5 of the last 9 winners were trained by Willie Mullins
Nicky Henderson has trained 4 winners, two 2nds and a 3rd from 9 runners in the last 12 years
The last 14 winners had all won last time out
15 of the last 17 winners were aged either 6 or 7
10 of the last 16 winners were officially top rated
 9 of the last 12 favourites won
Updated to include 2023 renewal

The last three Supreme Novices' Hurdle winners to line up in this race the following year have won (Douvan, Altior & Shishkin).

And, just like the Supreme, the Arkle Novices' Chase has been farmed by the Henderson and Mullins yards in recent seasons (9 of the last 12 winners between them).

Prior to Sprinter Sacre's win in 2012, there had only been one winning favourite in 19 years dating back to 1992.

However, there have been seven odds-on favourite winners since 2012.

That is, in part, due to fewer entries than before - all but one of those seven odds-on winners were in fields of just 5, 6 or 7.

This has coincided with the introduction of the Jewson (now the Turners Novices' Chase) in 2011, run over an extra four furlongs.

Five-year-old's are 0/16 since 2007 (the 5lb age allowance for five-year-old's was scrapped in 2008).

Voy Por Ustedes (2006) Well Chief (2004), Flagship Uberalles (1999) and Champleve (1998) all previously won the Arkle aged five.

ARKLE CHASE ODDS

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2023
6
162
11-7
2022
8
159
11-4
2021
7
164
11-4
2020
6
144
10-11
2019
6
151
11-4

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2023
El Fabiolo
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
11/10f
2022
Edwardstone
Tom Cannon / Alan King
5/2f
2021
Shishkin
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
4/9f
2020
Put The Kettle On
Aidan Coleman / Henry de Bromhead
16/1
2019
Duc Des Genievres
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
5/1
2018
Footpad
Ruby Walsh / Willie Mullins
5/6f
2017
Altior
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
1/4f
2016
Douvan
Ruby Walsh / Willie Mullins
1/4f
2015
Un De Sceaux
Ruby Walsh / Willie Mullins
4/6f
2014
Western Warhorse
Tom Scudamore / David Pipe
33/1
2013
Simonsig
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
8/15f
2012
Sprinter Sacre
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
8/11f
2011
Captain Chris
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
6/1
2010
Sizing Europe
Andrew Lynch / Henry de Bromhead
6/1
2009
Forpadydeplasterer
Barry Geraghty / Tom Cooper
8/1
2008
Tidal Bay
Denis O'Regan / Howard Johnson
6/1
2007
My Way De Solzen
Robert Thornton / Alan King
7/2
2006
Voy Por Ustedes
Robert Thornton / Alan King
15/2
2005
Contraband
Timmy Murphy / Martin Pipe
7/1
2004
Well Chief
Tony McCoy / Martin Pipe
9/1
2003
Azertyuiop
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
5/4f
2002
Moscow Flyer
Barry Geraghty / Jessica Harrington
11/2
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Tiutchev
Mick Fitzgerald / Nicky Henderson
8/1
Scoll down for previous Arkle winners

El Fabiolo was guided up on the rail under a confident Paul Townend ride in 2023 and stayed on powerfully ahead of old rival Jonbon, despite brushing through the final hurdle.

It was Willie Mullins' fifth Arkle Chase winner in nine years, but the first since 2019:

‘HOPEFULLY HE WILL BE A CHAMPION CHASE HORSE DOWN THE ROAD’

In 2022 Edwardstone became only the third eight-year-old to win the Arkle Chase in the last 30 years, following Sizing Europe and Moscow Flyer.

It was a third Arkle success for his trainer Alan King and a first Cheltenham Festival winner for jockey Tom Cannon:

‘I’VE GOT A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAN I HAVE WITH ANY HUMAN BEING’

Shishkin cruised to a 12 length victory in the 2021 Arkle Chase, to follow up his much tighter win in the Supreme a year earlier.

The 4/9 favourite was Nicky Henderson's seventh Arkle winner:

‘WE CAME THROUGH THE GREAT DAYS WHEN SPRINTER SACRE WON IT...THEN ALTIOR FOLLOWED HIM...IT IS EXTRAORDINARY TO THINK YOU CAN FIND ANOTHER ONE’

Put The Kettle On became the first mare since 1980 to win the Arkle in 2020.

Ridden by Aiden Coleman, she was in front rounding the home turn and saw off the challenge of Fakir D'Oudairies towards the line:

‘ALL THE WAY I ABSOLUTELY WAS HAVING SOME CRAIC, THEN TURNING IN I WAS GOING TO BE SICK IF I GOT BEATEN’

Duc Des Genievres relished the soft ground under Paul Townend in 2019, taking the lead before the home turn and cruising up the hill.

The French-bred grey was a fourth Arkle Chase winner in five years for Willie Mullins:

‘THIS RAIN HAS JUST COME IN TIME...IT HAS JUST WORKED THE ORACLE FOR THIS HORSE’

Foodpad was an equally facile winner in 2018, despite a bad mistake at one of the fences in the back straight.

The 5/6 shot swept into the lead entering the home straight under a motionless Ruby Walsh and secured victory with a big leap at the last:

‘I CANNOT SAY I WAS CONFIDENT DOWN THE BACK WHEN HE LANDED ON THE FIRST ONE, BUT I SAID TO MYSELF THAT THEY WERE GOING TOO FAST IN FRONT AND CAN’T KEEP GOING’

Festival banker Altior finished strongly to win the Akle Chase in 2017, the second of his four successive Festival victories.

The previous year's Supreme winner was always tracking leader Charbel, who fell two from home, and the 1/4 favourite was then eased to victory by Nico de Boinville:

‘YOU ARE AWARE OF THE EXPECTATION, SO YOU JUST TRY TO DO IT JUSTICE’

Another 1/4 shot, Douvan, also completed the Supreme/Arkle double without ever really coming off the bridle for Ruby Walsh in 2016.

He led home 2017 Gold Cup winner Sizing John, but unfortunately the remainder of his career was blighted by injury with much more having been expected by Willie Mullins:

‘WE THINK HE COULD BE ANYTHING AND HE HASN’T DISPROVED THAT THERE’

Un De Sceaux, who would go on to win the Ryanair Chase two years later, led from the start and barely saw another rival in 2015.

He already had the field at full stretch coming down the hill and pulled clear after the last under Ruby Walsh:

‘HE HAS GOT A TURN OF FOOT. I WASN’T GOING THAT HARD AND I KNEW THAT WHEN I GAVE HIM A SQUEEZE HE WOULD QUICKEN UP AND HE’S PINGED THE LAST’

The 33/1 shot Western Warhorse got up right on the line to defeat Champagne Fever after a thrilling final-furlong duel in 2014.

Champagne Fever was aiming for a Festival treble having won the Champion Bumper and then the Supreme the two previous years.

The David Pipe-trained winner, who wore a first-time hood, was making only his second chase start and rated just 135:

‘I’D BEEN TRYING TO PERSUADE THE OWNER FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS NOT TO RUN IN THIS BUT LUCKILY I DIDN’T GET MY WAY’

Winner of what is now the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 12 months earlier, the dashing grey Simonsig followed up to win the Arkle in 2013.

But jockey Barry Gegraghty was made to work for his victory on the 8/15 favourite, with outsider Baily Green making a fight of it:

‘IT WAS HARDER WORK THAN I THOUGHT...IT DIDN’T SET THE HEADLINES AS WE THOUGHT HE MIGHT, BUT HE WAS VERY GOOD’

In 2012 the future two-time Champion Chaser Spinter Sacre pummelled his rivals.

It was a 40th Cheltenham Festival winner for trainer Nicky Henderson, equalling the record of Fulke Walwyn:

‘HE’S GOT SO MUCH SPEED AND SCOPE, HE’S JUST A DREADFUL SHOW-OFF. THAT WAS REALLY WORTH WATCHING’

The mercurial but highly-talented Captain Chris, ridden by Richard Johnson, collared long-time leader Finian's Rainbow at the last before powering home in 2011.

That was despite him losing ground at most fences due to his tendency to jump to the right:

Two years after disappointing when favourite for the Champion Hurdle, Sizing Europe stayed on resolutely to win the 2010 Arkle, holding off the challenge of Somersby.

Ridden by Andrew Lynch for trainer Henry de Bromhead, they would go on to win the Champion Chase the following year:

Forpadydeplasterer stayed on strongly under jockey Barry Geraghty to hold off the finishing surge of Kalahari King in 2009.

There were memorable celebrations in the winner's enclosure as members of the Goat Racing Syndicate hoisted trainer Tom Cooper onto their shoulders:

Tidal Bay 2008

My Way De Solzen 2007

Voy Por Ustedes 2006

Contraband 2005

Looking back further, in 2004 the German bred Well Chief just held off Kicking King - winner of the following season's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Second in the previous season's Triumph Hurdle, he also went on to finish runner-up in both the 2005 and 2009 Champion Chase's:

Azertyuiop 2003

In 2002 Moscow Flyer was sent off as just the fourth favourite having fallen twice earlier that season, but comfortably saw off the favourite Seebald.

That gave Barry Geraghty his first ever Festival winner, before the pair went on to win two Champion Chases, and he later reflected:

‘YOUR MOST IMPORTANT WINNER IS YOUR FIRST ONE AT CHELTENHAM...AND TO GET IT IN ONE OF THE GRADE 1’S IS EVEN BETTER’

Tiutchev 2000

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
1999
Flagship Uberalles
Joe Tizzard / Paul Nicholls
11/1
1998
Champleve
Tony McCoy / Martin Pipe
13/2
1997
Or Royal
Tony McCoy / Martin Pipe
11/2
1996
Ventana Canyon
Richard Dunwoody / Edward O'Grady
7/1
1995
Klairon Davis
Francis Woods / Arthur Moore
7/2f
1994
Nakir
Jamie Osborne / Simon Christian
9/1
1993
Travado
Jamie Osborne / Nicky Henderson
5/1
1992
Young Pokey
Jamie Osborne / Oliver Sherwood
4/1
1991
Remittance Man
Richard Dunwoody / Nicky Henderson
85/40f
1990
Comandante
Peter Hobbs / Josh Gifford
9/2
1989
Waterloo Boy
Richard Dunwoody / David Nicholson
20/1
1988
Danish Flight
Mark Dwyer / Jimmy FitzGerald
11/2
1987
Gala's Image
Richard Linley / Mercy Rimell
25/1
1986
Oregon Trail
Ronnie Beggan / Simon Christian
14/1
1985
Boreen Prince
Niall Madden / Andrew McNamara
15/2
1984
Bobsline
Frank Berry / Francis Flood
5/4f
1983
Ryeman
Alan Brown / Peter Easterby
16/1
1982
The Brockshee
Tommy Carberry / Arthur Moore
12/1
1981
Clayside
Alan Brown / Peter Easterby
5/2f
1980
Anaglogs Daughter
Tommy Carberry / Bill Durkan
9/4
1979
Chinrullah
Dessie Hughes / Mick O'Toole
10/11f
1978
Alverton
Graham Thorner / Peter Easterby
5/2
1977
Tip the Wink
Dessie Hughes / Pat Taylor
15/2
1976
Roaring Wind
Reg Crank / Roy Cambidge
11/1
1975
Broncho II
Colin Tinkler / Tony Dickinson
8/1
1974
Canasta Lad
Jeff King / Peter Bailey
2/1f
1973
Denys Adventure
Graham Thorner / Tim Forster
8/1
1972
Pendil
Richard Pitman / Fred Winter
10/11f
1971
Alpheus
Eddie Wright / Tom Dreaper
15/1
1970
Soloning
Paul Kelleway / Fred Winter
4/1
1969
Chatham
Terry Biddlecombe / Fred Rimell
10/1
All Arkle Novices' Chase winners prior to 2000

Paul Nicholls saddled his first Festival winner, Flagship Uberalles, in this race back in 1999.

The half-brother to Viking Flagship also went on to win the 2002 Champion Chase.

Champleve 1998

Or Royal 1997

Ventana Canyon 1996

Klairon Davis 1995

Nakir 1994

Travado 1993

Young Pokey 1992

Remittance Man was Nicky Henderson's first Arkle Chase winner in 1991 and another to go on to win the Champion Chase.

One of the greatest jumpers of a fence ever seen at Cheltenham, he sealed victory with a huge leap at the last under Richard Dunwoody.

Comandante 1990

Waterloo Boy 1989

Danish Flight 1988

Gala's Image 1987

Oregon Trail 1986

Boreen Prince 1985

Bobsline 1984

Ryeman 1983

The Brockshee 1982

Watch a superb insight into the Arkle Chase from former race sponsors, the Racing Post: