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2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Tips - 25/1 outsider to back in open Grade One

14 Mar 2022
Jon Vine 14 Mar 2022
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  • Ante-post tips and odds for the 2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy
  • This Grade One takes place on day one of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 15th March 2022
  • Edwardstone, Blue Lord and Riviere D'etel sit prominently in the betting
  • Coeur Sublime is our only selection at 25/1
arkle cheltenham
A view of the runners in the 2020 Arkle. (Getty)

The first chase race to be staged during the Cheltenham Festival is the Arkle Challenge Trophy. Named in honour of the greatest National Hunt horse ever to have lived, the Arkle is a Grade One novice chase run over two miles.

Many excellent chasers have ended their first season over fences by claiming victory in the Arkle, including future Champion Chase winners Remittance Man, Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre and Altior.

In my latest Cheltenham Festival preview, I’ve taken a look at the likely runners in this year’s Arkle and picked out my best bets.
    Table Of Contents
  • 2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds
  • Irish Raiders
  • The Home Challenge
  • Dangerous Outsiders
  • 2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Value Bet – Coeur Sublime

2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Odds

Blue Lord3/1
Riviere D'etel4/1
Haut En Couleurs8/1
Saint Sam10/1
Ciel De Neige16/1
Third Time Lucki16/1

*Odds taken on 18/2/22*

Irish Raiders

Blue Lord2022 Arkle Challenge TrophyGET 3/1 HERE
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After losing the injury-stricken Ferny Hollow from his Cheltenham Festival squad, Willie Mullins could throw three of his best novices into this year’s Arkle. Chief amongst them in the betting is Blue Lord, who’s won all three of his starts over fences and was last seen landing the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Mullins has also entered up two five-year-olds in Saint Sam, last year’s beaten favourite in the Boodles, and Haut En Couleurs, who finished third on his stable debut in the Triumph Hurdle

Saint Sam was a little too keen and faded back to third in the Irish Arkle. In contrast, Haut En Couleurs was being held up out the back when he took an untimely tumble at just the third fence. Five-year-olds boast a poor recent record in the Arkle, but Mullins wouldn’t be running them if he didn’t think they had a chance of winning.

Another five-year-old, Riviere D’etel sits between the Mullins runners in the market. Despite her age, Gordon Elliott’s filly is the most experienced chaser in the field, winning three of her first five starts. Riviere D’etel travels to Cheltenham on the back of two battling defeats in Grade Ones at Leopardstown and she could be hard to pass if given an easy lead.

The Home Challenge

Edwardstone E/W2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy FavouriteGET 2/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Edwardstone has emerged as one of Britain’s best chances of a Grade One winner at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Alan King’s star won the Henry VIII Chase at Sandown over Christmas and has since carried a Grade One-winners penalty to victory at Kempton and Warwick. 

Alan King’s star set a comparable time to Tingle Creek winner Greaneteen at Sandown, and wasn’t much slower than Shishkin at Kempton. In the Kingmaker at Warwick, Edwardstone got to the front far too soon, but still had enough left in the tank to repel both Third Time Lucki and Brave Seasca on the run to the line.

Third Time Lucki won twice at Cheltenham earlier in the season, before going out far too hard and fast on unsuitably soft ground in the Henry VIII Chase. Having been ridden with restraint when bouncing back to form in the Lightening Chase, Harry Skelton tried to employ similar tactics in the Kingmaker, but found Edwardstone a little too classy on the day.

That course form would give Dan Skelton’s runner a chance of reversing that form from Warwick, but Third Time Lucki needs decent ground and he’s unlikely to get that on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Dangerous Outsiders

Brave Seasca2022 Arkle Challenge TrophyGET 33/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Brave Seasca has looked progressive this season and could rematch Edwardstone in the Arkle. A run in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase, though, seems much more sensible. I would also be surprised to see Jungle Boogie or Ciel De Niege run in the Arkle, with both more likely to be stepped up in trip.

Henry De Bromhead has both Coeur Sublime and Magic Daze entered up and, with their trainer's yard finally coming back into form, both have shown enough over fences to suggest they could get in the mix. Colin Tizzard also boasts a couple of entries, with both War Lord and Elixir De Nutz travelling to Cheltenham on the back of impressive victories.

coeur sublime
Rachael Blackmore riding Coeur Sublime win The Daly Farrell Chartered Accountants Beginners Chase at Gowran Park. (Getty)

2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Value Bet – Coeur Sublime

Coeur Sublime E/W2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Value BetGET 25/1 HERE
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I’m feeling slightly resentful towards this year’s Arkle Challenge Trophy. Appreciate It was my selection right at the start of the season. After Ferny Hollow impressed on debut, I backed the former Champion Bumper winner too. Ferny Hollow’s name featured in several of my ante-post accumulators, both prior to and following his victory at Leopardstown over Christmas, but all of those bets soon went up in smoke when Willie Mullins’ charge was ruled out of the rest of the season through injury.

Maybe it’s that ill-feeling towards the remaining contenders, but I’m really struggling to come up with a definitive tip. The more I look at the race, the more I think Edwardstone is the outstanding candidate. Yet, there’s a voice in the back of my head telling me that the Irish contenders cannot be ruled out and some could even progress beyond the level of form Edwardstone brings into the race.

As I’m finding it hard to split those at the top of the betting, I’m going to fire an each way dart and back COEUR SUBLIME, who should be sitting much closer to those at the head of the betting, based on what he’s achieved this season.

Henry De Bromhead’s charge looked all over Ferny Hollow when they both made their chasing debut at Punchestown. Coeur Sublime had even wrestled a slight advantage jumping the last, only for Ferny Hollow’s flat speed to kick in again on the run to the line.

Ferny Hollow and Riviere D’etel then pulled 15 lengths clear of the battling Coeur Sublime at Leopardstown over Christmas. That sharp track has never been a favourite for De Bromhead’s seven-year-old, though. Coeur Sublime’s form figures around Leopardstown read F373. A test of pure speed clearly doesn’t suit.

Rachael Blackmore’s mount won as easily as you’d expect a 1/6 favourite to win on his final outing before Cheltenham at Gowran Park. Coeur Sublime jumped and travelled smoothly throughout, cantering to a ten length victory over some far inferior opposition.

Coeur Sublime was rated the best of these over hurdles, reaching a peak rating of 155. In the 2019 Triumph Hurdle, he finished a staying-on second behind Pentland Hills, and even ran in Epatante’s Champion Hurdle the following year. As with most of De Bromhead’s chasers, Coeur Sublime’s jumping has been largely faultless since he moved up to chasing and the two-time Arkle-winning trainer knows exactly how to get one ready for Cheltenham.


He may not be an obvious selection, but I’ve been impressed with what Coeur Sublime has produced over fences this term and he could give each-way backers a real run for their money, in what looks a wide-open renewal of the Arkle.

2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy Value Bet: Coeur Sublime Each-Way @25/1 at bet365 - 5 Units
Coeur Sublime
@25/1 - 5 Units
Bet £10 Get £50

Use the bet365 Bonus Code NEWBONUS. Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code NEWBONUS can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount of the offer. 18+ begambleaware.org

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15 Mar 2022

2022 Arkle Challenge Trophy