The Racing Post Arkle Chase was inaugurated with its current title in 1969, after Arkle’s three wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964–66).
In its first year, the Arkle Chase was worth £1,365 and was won by Chatham (10/1), trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe. The 2017 running has record prize money of £175,000.
It was known as the Cotswold Chase before 1969. Since 1946, it has not been run twice, in 1946 because of snow and in 2001 because of the foot and mouth outbreak.
The Racing Post, which backed the Arkle Chase for the first time in 2012, is only the race’s fourth sponsor. The Irish Independent’s support ran from from 2000 to 2011, Guinness sponsored from 1994 until 1999 and Waterford Cystal backed the race between 1991 and 1993.
The lowest number of runners was six (2012) and the highest 19 (1987 & 2005) as the Arkle Chase – there were 25 runners in the Cotswold Chase in 1960. The current safety limit is 20.
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
David Johnson with four winners – Or Royal (1997), Champleve (1998), Well Chief (2004) and Contraband (2005).
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Tom Dreaper is the most successful trainer of all time with five victories – Fortria (1958), Mountcashel King (1961), Ben Stack (1963), Flyingbolt (1965) and Alpheus (1971).
Nicky Henderson leads the way among current handlers with four victories – Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000) and Sprinter Sacre (2012).
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
The most successful jockeys have been Glen Kelly, Pat Taaffe, Jamie Osborne, AP (Tony) McCoy and Barry Geraghty, with three wins each.
The longest-priced winner was Gala’s Image, successful at 25/1 in 1987. The shortest-priced winner was Sprinter Sacre, returned at 8/11 in 2012.
In the 65 runnings since 1946, a total of 15 favourites (23 per cent) have prevailed.
The oldest winners were the nine-year-olds Sir Ken (1956) and Danish Flight (1988).
The five-year-olds Grand Refrain (1949), High Level (1950), Red Steel (1951), Nautical Print (1952), Bramble Tudor (1953), Armorial III (1954), Manuscrit (1955), Ballyatom (1957), Chatham (1969), Soloning (1970), Champleve (1998), Flagship Uberalles (1999), Well Chief (2004) and Voy Por Ustedes (2006) are the youngest winners.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
- 5yo – 14 wins
- 6yo – 19 wins
- 7yo – 18 wins
- 8yo – 12 wins
- 9yo – 2 wins
The fastest time for the two miles of the Racing Post Arkle Chase was 3m 46.5s by Tiutchev in 2000, beating the previous best of 3m 52.5s set by Or Royal in 1997.
IRELAND (16): Fortria (1958); Mountcashel King (1961); Ben Stack (1963), Flyingbolt (1965), Arctic Stream (1967), Alpheus (1971), Chinrullah (1979), Anaglogs Daughter (1980), The Brockshee (1982), Bobsline (1984), Boreen Prince (1985), Klairon Davis (1995), Ventana Canyon (1996), Moscow Flyer (2002), Forpadydeplasterer (2009) and Sizing Europe (2010).
DID YOU KNOW?
Until 1980, the Racing Post Arkle Chase was always run on the Wednesday of the The Festival. It now takes place on the opening day, Tuesday.
The Racing Post Arkle Chase has always been a fiercely contested event, and the following winners have gone on to other Championship victories at The Festival:
- 2010 Sizing Europe (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2011)
- 2006 Voy Por Ustedes (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2007)
- 2003 Azertyuiop (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2004)
- 2002 Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2003 & 2005)
- 1999 Flagship Uberalles (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 2002)
- 1995 Klairon Davis (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1996)
- 1991 Remittance Man (Queen Mother Champion Chase winner 1992)
- 1978 Alverton (Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 1979).
Alverton is the only horse to have won both the Racing Post Arkle Chase and Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.