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Cheltenham

  • 14:05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 2m

  • (Grade 1) £130,000 added 5yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £74,035 2nd £27,781 3rd £13,910 4th £6,929
  • Going: Good-Good to Soft in places; Cross Country Good to Firm.
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 51.10s
  • Off time: 14:05:38

Full result

14:05 Cheltenham Result 13th March 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Sprinter Sacre (FR) 11-7 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 6 8/11f
Tracked leading pair, led 10th, drew clear on bit 3 out to next, shaken up after last, stayed on well, comfortably opened 4/5 touched 4/5 £20000-£22000 £1000-£1100 £1666-£2000(x2) £833-£1000 £500-£600(x8) £40000-£50000 £16000-£20000 £8000-£10000(x6) £6000-£7500 £4000-£5000(x4) £2000-£2500(x3) £800-£1000(x3) £4000-£5500
2nd 7 Cue Card 11-7 J Tizzard C L Tizzard 6 13/2
Led to 9th, chased winner from next, outpaced 3 out, 3 length down in clear 2nd next, soon ridden, kept on, no impression opened 7/1 touched 15/2 £3000-£400
3rd 22 Menorah (IRE) 11-7 R Johnson P J Hobbs 7 10/1
Held up in 4th, pushed along 9th, disputed 2nd 3 out, soon ridden, 6 lengths down in 3rd when blundered next, weakened last opened 9/1 touched 10/1
4th Al Ferof (FR) 11-7 R Walsh P F Nicholls 7 3/1
Pressed leader, led 9th, blundered and dropped to 3rd next, outpaced approaching 3 out, soon beaten opened 7/2 touched 7/2 £14000-£4000(x3) £7000-£2000(x2) £3500-£1000 £3333-£1000 £42000-£14000
5th Blackstairmountain (IRE) 11-7 P Townend W P Mullins 7 20/1
Held up in last pair in touch, outpaced 3 out, never on terms opened 16/1 touched 20/1
6th 37 Foildubh (IRE) 11-7 Robert Colgan J P Ryan 8 66/1
Held up in last pair in touch, struggling 8th, tailed off 3 out opened 66/1 touched 66/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.60 Tote Place: £1.20,3.20
Straight Forecast: £6.21 Exacta: £6.30 Swingers: 1&2:1.80 2&3:4.40 1&3:1.60

Jackpot: £58,798.80, Pool: £372668.75, 4.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £76.20, Pool: £895990.3, 8579.31 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.30, Pool: £32465.85, 1673.78 winning tickets

Verdict

The word 'awesome' is used too often, and even here it's out of place, but this performance from SPRINTER SACRE makes you want to use these sort of superlatives. He was expected to win, backed in from even money to 8/11 in the morning, but he did so with so much ease. A big, scopey horse, he jumped well when it mattered, espeically at the fourth from home. Al Ferof took off far too early and landed on the fence, but the winner, who only took off fractionally later, had enough size to clear the fence and land running. That took him into the lead, his exuberance down the hill took him further clear and he was still on the bridle at the last. Although Cue Card, who had made the early running, was rallying superbly, Barry Geraghty had things under control and a good jump at the final obstacle and a shaking of the reins took him over the line in isolation. He looks a monster of a novice, and will surely be a major player in the Champion Chase in 12 months time, assuming this big horse can be kept sound. Cue Card dictated the early pace but got the fifth-last wrong, dropping him to third. However he rallied well down the hill and deserves lots of credit; he was merely unlucky to bump into a much superior rival. Menorah, after a couple of early fiddly jumps, looked to be making some nice ground up coming down the hill having been ridden with restraint, but his effort petered out slightly turning in, whilst Blackstairmountain and Foildubh never looked like featuring. Al Ferof got warm and sweaty beforehand, and was given a positive ride, but his bad mistake knocked him for six. He'll need further next season, but shouldn't be written off for something like next year's Ryanair despite lacking a little bit of scope.