Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 14:13 28/01/2014
After his impressive nine-length victory over Felix Yonger and Mozoltov in Leopardsown's Grade 1 Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Chase on Sunday it was no surprise to see Tom Segal of Pricewise fame tip the Charles Byrnes-trained 7-year-old Trifolium for the Racing Post Arkle Chase at the Festival, but whether the son of Goldneyev represents outstanding value at 8-1 ( a price now only available with Boylesports ) for a race six weeks away is open to question and at the standout 12-1 available with 888Sport a more tempting propostion at this stage is the Paul Nicholls-trained Hinterland, unbeaten in two starts this season.
A decent novice hurdler, the Poliglote gelding has taken his time to get the hang of the bigger obstacles but has looked a high-class chaser in the making this season beating top-class hurdler Grandouet on both occasions and the 6-year-old looks sure to go close in the two-mile speed test, especially if connections of current 4-1 ante-post favourite Champagne Fever decide to step up in trip for the RSA Chase or JLT Novices Chase. Unlike many of his potential rivals Hinterland has plenty of chasing experience having ran five times over fences finishing runner-up on all three chase starts last season, but when one considers the winners on those occasions were Simonsig, Captain Conan and Theatre Guide the horse comes out with a lot of credit and with those races under his belt has looked a totally different proposition this season.
The Nicholls stable is also likely to be represented by Dodging Bullets who is no bigger than 6-1 to give the trainer his third victory in the race following Flagship Uberalles and Azertyuiop but is short enough in the betting now and his stable companion makes much more appeal at double the price. Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby certainly has the ability to make his mark but only one run against poor opposition to date is a massive negative for the 2012 champion who will struggle to get his favoured good ground before the Festival. Valdez and Grandouet are two others who are due plenty of respect but at the 12-1 on offer Hinterland is the value selection.