This second race at the Festival pays homage to one of the most well-known entrants, Arkle, the Irish thoroughbred racehorse. This two mile race is run at a break-neck speed, and requires the competitors to not only have speed but also a good jumping performance over fences. The race was previously named the Cotswold Chase, but Inaugurated in 1969, the Arkle Challenge Trophy celebrated Arkle’s three Cheltenham Gold Cup wins, during 1964 to 1966.
Previous winners of the Arkle Challenge Trophy were 2017 Altior 7 (N De Boinville) 1/4F, 2016 Douvan 6 (R Walsh) 1/4F and 2015 Un De Sceaux 7 (R Walsh) 4/6F.
This year’s race will take place on Tuesday, 14th March 2018, at 14.10 GMT. Horses must be aged five years and over to take part in this Grade 1 national Hunt novices ‘ chase, with a race prize of around £175,000. The entrants for this event tend to be smaller than for the majority of other races at Cheltenham, but that doesn’t deter from it being an exhilarating competition.
The hot favourite to win the 2018 Challenge Trophy is Footpad, trained by Willie Mullins, after his win at the Irish Arkle in Dublin, closely followed by second favourite, Petit Mouchoir.