Ghizao emerges the new favourite for Arkle Trophy


Tagged under: 2.05 Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase 2m

Paul Nicholls’ novice chaser, Ghizao emerged from the Newbury mist to go clear favourite for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival next March following his authoritative show in the 2m 2 ½ f Andover Novices Chase on Wednesday.

Timmy Murphy’s mount took it up from the top of the straight and the 11/4 chance galloped on strongly to finish four-and-a-half lengths clear of fancied Arkle entries, Captain Chris trained by Philip Hobbs and Nicky Henderson’s Surfing who was beaten a further neck in third.

Ghizao was making his third appearance of the season; he finished second behind Kilmurry on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham in October and followed up with a win at last month’s Cheltenham Open Meeting when beating Captain Chris by ten lengths.

Preparations haven’t been ideal for the six-year-old and his trainer said: ”He's actually one who could have done without the hold-up in the weather as I really wanted to get one more run into him around now.

"He'll go straight to Cheltenham now, as he'd be the sort you could run at Aintree afterwards."

Bookmakers reacted by quoting Ghizao as low as 4/1 to win the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy on the opening day of the Festival meeting, although as the fog lifted, Boylesports were quoting odds of 7/1.

Timmy Murphy has ridden the horse to both wins this season and believes Ghizao has more to offer: "The ground was very testing and it was hard work, but we didn't go a blistering gallop. His jumping was good, but I do think he's a better horse than he showed here.

"Paul said he didn't have the ideal preparation because of the weather and he gave me a better feel in Cheltenham the last day. He's made hard enough work of it, but I think he's better than that."

Nicky Henderson’s Finians Rainbow had previously held favouritism for the Arkle but has now been eased to a general 10/1 with the introduction of Ghizao to the head of the market.

  • Share this:

  • Share

Latest Boylesports News

Latest Boylesports Offers