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Sprinter Sacre Headlines Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham


A perfect three-from-three record for the 2011/12 National Hunt season has set up Sprinter Sacre nicely for the favourites position ahead of this year's Arkle Chase. He was sent off as a prominent favourite in the Betfair Super Saturday Chase at Newbury and really solidified his credentials as bookmakers took him into even money for the first-day clash at Cheltenham.


One of his main advantages heading into this one is that he's already seen off the majority of the challengers in this one so punters may want to steer most of their wagers towards some of the longer odds selections as they still carry a bit of mystery about them.

It may take a wild card to be able to beat Sprinter Sacre.

The tandem of Peddlers Cross and Paul Nicholls Al Ferof are both competing for the second favourites position with a broad range of prices anywhere from 11/4 to 5/1 on the pair of them. Peddlers Cross in particular was so outmatched by Sprinter Sacre that he finished 2nd in a field of 3 – sixteen lengths behind him. Al Ferof has shown himself to be a quirky sort who is capable of much when he's focused and in command of himself. It will be interesting to see which Al Ferof shows up.

One to keep an eye on in this contest is another Paul Nicholls-trained contender as Cristal Bonus enters the race off a breakout victory in a beginners chase at Chepstow. The twenty-five length margin showed that he was worth every bit of the 4/9 price that punters set him off at. After a stop-start career over fences he looks to have finally made the breakthrough and could be poised to capitalize off the mistakes of any of the leading contenders. Look for the six-year-old gelded son of Della Francesca to go off near his current 33/1 price tag.

For Non Stop is an interesting story with a significant discrepancy in his price with several bookmakers floating him at 16s while others have him as high as 33/1. He's a Grade 1 winner having taken the Betfair Novice Chase at Newbury on the Super Saturday card.

It appears to be a matter of whether he enters this race or goes elsewhere. The price drop seems to signify some evidence that he'll be in this opening day fixture.