Cheltenham – Arkle Chase: Classy hurdler to continue exceptional chasing career

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RACING anorak Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) analyses the field for Tuesday’s second race from the Cheltenham Festival, the Arkle Chase.

2:10 Cheltenham | Arkle Chase | ITV1

The Arkle may only have a field of five lining-up but four of them wouldn’t look out of place in any Arkle in recent years. The ground may be testing but it shouldn’t inconvenience the market leaders too much and this is a fascinating renewal.

Saint Calvados (5/2 BetBright) has won three from three over fences, has form on heavy ground and was visually very impressive last time out. He’s the least exposed horse in the race and has the potential to be very special.

However this is a huge step up; he’s taking on three horses who were Champion Hurdle class and he looks up against it, to me.

Petit Mouchoir (7/2 BetBright) was the best of these over hurdles and won on his chase debut in good style. He then chased home Footpad, where connections expected him to come on for that effort.

He may improve significantly and he will need to. He is another who will appreciate the ground but I’ve opposed him.

Footpad has been nothing short of exceptional since being switched to chasing. He is three from three and now a dual Grade 1 winner over the larger obstacles.

His jumping is slick and efficient and I expect him to continue his winning form here at evens (BetBright).

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2:10 Cheltenham | The Arkle – Footpad to win (1/1 BetBright)

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I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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