Betting Tips You Can Count On!

BettingChoice Exclusives

  • Betting Tips
  • Free Bet Offers

2012 Arkle Challenge Betting Preview Part Two


The well-monikered Cristal Bonus pays a hefty 7.8 right now on the exchange but there are still plenty out there looking for even more value on this one. This one is shaping up as the genuine sleeper in the Arkle lineup – a mysterious Nicholls horse coming out of Auteil, not looking great over hurdles but two for two with a Grade 2 novice win in there as well adds some credibility. At six, this one will still be progressing and a combined margin of 38 lengths separated him from his competition in his last two races.

The gulf between a Grade 2 novice chase at Kempton and the Arkle is certainly a significant one, but several might burn themselves out trying to outrun Sprinter Sacre. The favourite will be taking a keen hold as usual and this might draw a couple of the others into an out-and-out pressure cooker up front.


Cristal Bonus has shown some versatility by winning on the lead and coming from last against a lighter field of six. Nicholls will have him sharp and the only reason he's rated so low is that he's only really had two proper outings. Winning this one against an in-form Sprinter Sacre, let's face it, is probably beyond Cristal Bonus but getting up for a slice is certainly within the frame.

Kid Cassidy actually appears to be taking more money than Cristal Bonus, at this point, and he's got the same track record – though his debut was marred by a falling effort at Lingfield back in November. A 31 length score in his next outing proved the punters correct with a 2/5 payout. He's the “other Nicky Henderson” horse in this one for JP McManus' yard and did alright to win a 15K Grade 2 Novice Chase at Doncaster though the margin was only three lengths or so.

Astracad has an interesting Cheltenham reference now from his last race – having headed Rileyv on the wire back in mid-December. He's been off-track for quite a while but Nigel Twiston-Davies has been pointing him in this direction for some time. He actually had a real battle in his last effort – anything from a fluent trip but showed some guts. If they don't totally outrun him he might just be more of a factor than we might think.