Last year’s Arkle Chase produced one of the most impressive Cheltenham Festival winners in living memory courtesy of Sprinter Sacre’s win, but we could be in line to witness another sparkling performance 12 months on courtesy of Simonsig.
Nicky Henderson’s top-class chaser has seen off all before him this season, and much like stablemate Sprinter Sacre, he has done with the tinge of star quality with the latest Arkle odds suggesting the horse could go close.
The race crowns the top novice chaser over two-miles and has produced some of the greatest chasers ever to have graced the turf. Most notably Arkle, himself, who went onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running and became one of the public’s all-time favourite horses.
If the vibes and form lines are correct then Simonsig should join that illustrious list this season. To see whether he can justify his huge reputation, catching all the action live online, through live streaming, is a recommendation that should be acted on.
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As previously mentioned, Sprinter Sacre ran out a very classy winner in 2012, and has continued his incredible form this season. He is now out of the novice division and will go off a warm order in the Champion Chase, where he is unlikely to be beaten.
The super seven-year-old led his rivals a merry dance from the front as he completely trounced a top-class field that included the subsequent Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Al Ferof and Haddon Gold Cup winner Cue Card. Henderson’s chaser has been quoted by the great man as one of the best he’s ever trained, but that could be tested this year if Simonsig follows in Sprinter Sacre’s big hoof-prints.
He already has previous Festival form following his easy win in last year’s Neptune Investment Hurdle, where he didn’t see another rival in his 13 length victory under Barry Geraghty.
Rather strangely his style is very similar to Sprinter Sacre, as he is a very lengthy and athletic horse that looks to have the capabilities to trounce any two mile chasing field he’s put up against.
He made a very impressive debut over fences earlier this season at Ascot and then backed that showing up with a sparkling front running performance in the williamhill.com Novices’ Chase during the Kempton winter Festival.
When you consider that he has yet to run on his preferred ground, which is good, then you would think he has plenty of improvement to find at Cheltenham if the ground does dry out.
Throughout the season his price for Arkle success has never touched above 9/4 and punters have been backing him throughout the winter. The best price you can get in the village now is just Evens with Bet365 and William Hill with punters quickly establishing that Simonsig could be the banker of the entire meeting.
If he gets beat you can rest assured the bookmakers will be cracking open the champagne. His biggest challenger to the crown looks be Overturn, who is second in the betting around the 7/1 mark for the Donald McCain yard.
He has been switched to fences this season after winning prestigious races on both the Flat and over hurdles, but may lack the certain ability to really test the all-the-rage favourite.