The Arkle Challenge Trophy

The Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase was established in 1969, in honour of the legendary Arkle, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running between 1964 and 1964 and, in so doing, earned a Timeform rating of 212, the highest ever awarded. The Arkle Chase is run over a distance of 2 miles on the Old Course at Cheltenham and is currently scheduled as the second race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place in March each year.

The Arkle Challenge Trophy has Grade 1 status, which means that the weight carried by each horse is determined by its age and sex, regardless of any previous performances. The race is a steeplechase, which means that horses are required to negotiate plain fences, open ditches and water jumps, of which there are thirteen in total. Furthermore, the race is open to novices – that is, horses that have not won a steeplechase before the start of the current season – aged five years and older.

Nicky Henderson is the most successful of the current trainers in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, having saddled Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000), Sprinter Sacre (2012) and Simonsig (2013) for a total of five wins. Indeed, Sprinter Sacre is among several winners of the Arkle Challenge Trophy who have gone on to win the Queen Mother Champion, having won the championship race in 2013 and again in 2016.

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