Former 2008 champion hurdle favourite Sizing Europe bids to win his fifth consecutive race over fences and extend his unbeaten streak this season. Sizing Europe, trained by Henry De Bromhead has won 4 chases this campaign by an aggregate total of 33 lengths; he is an accurate, speedy jumper and could prove hard to beat.
The JP McManus owned Captain Cee Bee has outstanding previous Cheltenham form having won the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2008. Captain Cee Bee beat the useful Zaarito and An Cathaoir Mór (all winners since) last December and looked to have the measure of Sizing Europe when he fell at the last in a race won by Henry de Bromhead’s stable star. On his last start, a 13 length demolition of Fosters Cross, Captain Cee Bee booked his place in the Arkle where he is currently the 7-2 favourite.
French import, Long Run won the Grade 1 Feltham Novices Chase by an impressive 14 lengths on St. Stephens Day and although he is only a 5 year old, he is the progressive sort and trainer Nicky Henderson believes he can improve further.
However, as he is now a 9 year old, Captain Cee Bee may have to settle for second best on the day as Sizing Europe should have enough class and potential to continue his successful career over fences at the highest level.
• The Arkle is run over the Old Course in Cheltenham and remains the most prestigious and valuable event for leading two-mile novice chasers
• Horses aged 7 and under have the best record in the race. 4 out of the past 5 winners were 7 year olds
• In 2002, Moscow Flyer became the only 8 year old to have won the race since 1990.