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Cheltenham Patrol: Medermit Firmly Pointed at Arkle Challenge Trophy


Alan King has confirmed that talented French chaser Medermit will be lining up in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and bookmakers have responded in kind by expressing plenty of confidence in the high-flying grey with a 5/1 price placing him just off the favourite’s position.

Easily one of the most impressive novice chasers on the National Hunt scene, Medermit is a bit more versatile than some contenders and this was a bit of a thorn in the side of ante post punters as he has been more recently-campaigned at around 2m5f as opposed to the about 2m distance that will be contested in the Arkle. He has won novice chase contests over 2m but he has shown his most impressive form going short and connections seem to be taking the easier option here.

Medermit’s presence definitely complicates things for the current favourite pair Finian’s Rainbow and Grade 2-winner Ghizao. The fact that Finian’s Rainbow is the betting favourite might surprise some as the eight year-old son of Tiraaz is still yet to conquer at graded level and has only been contesting three-horse fields in his two attempts this season, going off at 2/5 and a microscopic 2/13. He is flashing quality figures but one reckons they could saddle up a random punter from the pie shop and he would take Finian’s to the line first. He ran a tame 5/17 to Peddler’s Cross in last year’s Neptune Novice Hurdle.

There is still two or three-dozen in the mix here for this one and this is going to be a wild and wooley ante post market until we get a week or two out from the festival. Captain Chris is said to have picked up some type of leg issue and it would be best to stay off him for the time-being, at least until connections reveal further details. Rock Noir is worth a look at 33/1 as an each-way option – putting in a credible 150 OR despite finishing fourth to Medermit in a Grade 1 novice chase at Sandown on Saturday. This year will be his first go over fences at Cheltenham and he will definitely have AP aboard for the trip. Look for him to at least get up for a slice of this one. Victor Chandler currently boasts a whopping 10/1 price on Medermit and they are industry-best by at least 4.5 points or so.