Finian's Rainbow Joint Favourite For Arkle After Smooth Newbury Victory.

William Hill

Tagged under: 2.05 Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase 2m

The Nicky Henderson trained Finian's Rainbow made his fencing debut at Newbury today in the Rooney/Hall Novices' Chase, and the 2/5 favourite ran out a comfortable 12 length winner.

Although the 7 year-old was a bit ' novicey ' at a couple of fences, Barry Geraghty's mount jumped with elan and created a big enough impression with bookmakers to make the son of Tiraaz joint favourite for the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at the Festival.

The strapping gelding has always looked a top- class chaser in the making, and now we know the horse jumps with enthusiasm, the sky is the limit.

Initially availble at 14/1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes after today's race, the 25/1 on offer yesterday now looks excellent value for the Arkle, with all firms now no bigger than 12/1, the same price as Paul Nicholl's recent Cheltenham winner Ghizao.

Speaking about today's performance Henderson said: " O.K, he was untidy at one or two, but he got in and out of them, and he wasn't bad for such a big horse having his first run over fences.

" You wouldn't mind giving him a run at Cheltenham, and he hasn't had a very hard race.

" I'd like to think he was very good, and the Arkle is there, so I hope he is top-class. I'm almost certain he'll stay at two miles."

While the 25/1 available about Finian's Rainbow for the Arkle is now tremendous value, the current odds of 12/1 may still look very big come March, as there appears less strength in depth in the 2 mile division as opposed to the staying novices, who could be an outstanding crop this season.

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