Arkle Chase Tips - 1:55pm Cheltenham

The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase did have the potential to be one of the races of the week with the clash between England and Ireland in Shishkin v Energumene. But the unfortunate late injury to the latter has robbed us of that clash.

The race is run on the old course and is 21 yards short of 2 miles.

A coupe of key stats for the race are that six or seven year olds have won all of the last ten renewals and 9 out of 10 have finished first or second on all completed chase starts.

Seven Barrows maestro Nick Henderson is looking for a record seventh victory in this historic race having triumphed with Remittance Man, Travado, Tiutchev, Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig and Altior. His representative this time round is the exciting Shishkin, who bar a fall at Newbury on his hurdles debut is unbeaten under rules. He found trouble in running to win the Supreme Novice Hurdle at the meeting last season and has come out and won all three of his chase starts, twice at Kempton and the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster at the end of January. Starting long odds on on each occasion. He hasn’t actually taken on anything of note bar the 149 rated Eldorado Allen at Doncaster but it’s been more the style in which he’s done it, jumping so efficiently and not making one mistake. Typically brought along gently by Henderson he’s sure to run a massive race. Nico De Boinville has ridden him in all his starts and knows him well.

Second favourite is Dan Skelton’s Allmankind who has made all to win all three of his starts over fences at Warwick (twice) and Sandown. He seems to need to force the pace and as Energumene has also forced it on all three of his victories you just hope that there’s no burn up up front. One things for sure Nico De Boinville will have to be very aware not to let Shishkin fall too far off the back of the likely strong pace.

Henry De Bromhead is looking for a big week and his Captain Guiness, who fell two out behind Energumene at the Dublin Racing Festival when not entirely done with could make the frame.

Willie Mullins has Franco De Port entered here but he was soundly put in his place by his stablemate Energumene at Leopardstown and that form doesnt look good enough to worry the likes of Shishkin and Allmankind

A fascinating race that is probably going to be fought out by Shishkin and Allmankind. With the race predictably likley to be a game of catch me if you can with the latter tearing off in to an early lead which actually may suit Shishkin who as long as De Boinville doesnt let him get too far in front can pounce late and win at cramped odds.

Punters Lounge Tip: Shishkin @ 1/2 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet

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