HENDERSON won the Arkle last year with the brilliant Sprinter Sacre and he has the outstanding contender again in Simonsig writes Milesey. The seven-year-old has won the Neptune at Cheltenham last season and after a good start to his chasing career he is the hot favourite here. Overturn has finished runner-up in last year’s Champion Hurdle and has won all his three races over the bigger obstacles. While none of these wins was in a highly rated race, the manner in which he won them caught punters’ attention, as he decimated the field by 25 lengths in Doncaster before winning by an astonishing 29 lengths at Musselburgh. Arvika Ligeonniere (trained by Willie Mullins) has returned from more than two years off the track to win his three completed races over fences, making all the running each time, before falling on his latest outing at Leopardstown. As a recent faller we’re skeptical of his prospects in this race.
Captain Conan looks an interesting option in this field. He was the winner in the Arkle Trophy Trial at Cheltenham in November. He’s since won another two races, and is unbeaten over fences. Anyway, we think that Captain Conan will run the Jewson Novices’ Chase.
Benefficient won the Irish Arkle in January, in which Arvika Ligeonniere fell, getting the better of smart Oscars Well when that rival also made a bad error at the last fence.
A long shot might be Majala, unbeaten this season for Tom George and always improving during the last 3 months.
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