The Arkle Cheltenham Tips

The Cheltenham Festival is one of most popular events on any horse racing fan's calender, and the Arkle, which is one of the highlight's of day one at the Festival, is always a highly contested race, which attracts plenty of interest from punters.

Regarded as one of the highlights of the Cheltenham Festival, the Arkle Chase crowns the top novice chaser over two-miles and has produced some of the greatest chasers ever to have graced the turf.

Fittingly it is named after perhaps the greatest ever.

Arkle won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running and became one of the public's all-time favourite horses along with the likes of Red Rum, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star.

As well as his Cheltenham treble, he also won the King George VI Chase, the Irish Grand National and two Hennessy Gold Cups. The race named in his honour is for novice chasers but usually the winner is anything but.

The 2012 renewal was built-up as one of the most anticipated races of the season and it didn't disappoint. It produced a stunning winner in the shape of the simply sensational Sprinter Sacre, who dominated the race from start to finish.

Nicky Henderson's chaser has been quoted by Henderson as one of the best he's ever trained, and the way he destroyed a high-class field, it's hard to argue.

The size, scope and nimbleness of the horse always had him earmarked for a career over fences after a season over hurdles and he's likely to return to the Festival next season, but either in the Champion Chase or maybe even the Gold Cup if Henderson is feeling brave enough.

Henderson also could win the 2013 renewal if he decides to take a similar route with high-class novice hurdler Simonsig (100/30 Ladbrokes), who easily won the Neptune Investments Hurdle over two and a half miles at the Festival last year.

He has the same profile as Sprinter Sacre as he is a lengthy and classy individual Henderson will be hoping he's just as good over fences as he is hurdles.

This, once again should be a classic encounter at Cheltenham 2013.