The Arkle Challenge Trophy: A Look at the Prestigious Horse Race

Arkle Challenge Trophy

As the most prestigious horse race in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Arkle Challenge Trophy is a mainstay of the National Hunt racing calendar. It first graced Cheltenham Racecourse in 1969 and has thrilled racegoers ever since.

For nearly a half-century, the event has danced between the rails, boasting some of the greatest horses in history, not to mention a myriad of stories. From its humble beginnings to its current status as one of the most prestigious races in the equestrian world, the Arkle Challenge Trophy promises a thrilling journey through the annals of racehorse history.

Join us as we take a detailed look at this iconic horse race, including its key moments, most famous horses, bookmakers’ hot takes and more. Let the race begin!

The Arkle Challenge Trophy is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase run annually at Cheltenham Racecourse. It is open to horses aged five years or older, and has a prize fund of £175,000.

About the Arkle Challenge Trophy

The Arkle Challenge Trophy is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase first run in 1969 at the Cheltenham Racecourse in England. Named after the great chaser, Arkle, this prestigious horse race is one of the most highly sought-after titles in steeplechasing.

The race normally takes place every year during the Cheltenham Festival in March. The course is 1m mile and 7f long and features 13 fences with varying heights and shapes.

In recent years, the event has become more controversial as it has been accused of being too easy due to its lower number of fences than other races and its relatively well-maintained track surface. Despite these criticisms, it still remains a very popular and exciting event each year, with an influx of spectators eager to witness some great steeplechasing action.

Whatever your opinion on it may be, there is no denying that the Arkle Challenge Trophy carries a certain amount of prestige within the racing industry and provides an annual opportunity for some thrilling horse racing around one of Britain’s top courses.

  1. The Arkle Challenge Trophy is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase which is run at the Cheltenham Festival and has been held annually since 1969.
  2. It is run over a distance of 1 mile and 7 furlongs, and is one of the most prestigious races in British National Hunt Racing.
  3. The most successful traianer in the history of the race is Nicky Henderson with 7 wins.

The Winners of the Trophy

Throughout its long and prestigious history, numerous horses have been crowned champions of the Arkle Challenge Trophy. The roll call of champions reads like a Who’s Who of racing from the past five decades. Some of the most iconic jump horses in National Hunt history have won this celebrated trophy, confirming that the race has always been a major target for the top trainers and riders.

Since its inception nearly half a century ago, the Arkle Challenge Trophy has seen great success throughout the years. Many renowned horses, such as Flyingbolt, Un de Sceaux, Remittance Man, and Moscow Flyer, have taken home victories at this competition. Some racing aficionados regard these events as competitions between some of the greatest horses to grace a National Hunt course.

The winners of the Trophy vary greatly in style and form – some winning with sublime displays of jumping prowess, while others have scraped through to success by just a short head at the finish line. More often than not, it is the fastest horse that prevails in this 1m and 7f race, but sometimes a combination of strategy, pace and jumping ability can prove decisive.

This debate around riding style highlights just how evenly matched racing can be even after many decades, with some riders relying on experience to prevail while others depend on sheer athleticism.

Arkle Chase Previous Winners

2022Edwardstone8Alan KingTom Cannon
2021Shishkin7Nicky HendersonNico de Boinville
2020Put The Kettle On6Henry De BromheadAidan Coleman
2019Duc De Genievres5Willie MullinsPaul Townend
2018Footpad6Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2017Altior7Nicky HendersonNico de Boinville
2016Douvan6Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2015Un De Sceaux7Willie MullinsRuby Walsh
2014Western Warhorse6David PipeTom Scudamore
2013Simonsig7Nicky HendersonBarry Geraghty

Notable Recent Winners

The Arkle Challenge Trophy has been won by some of the most remarkable horses and jockeys over the years, and this prestigious race continues to attract a large number of entrants each year. The most recent winners are no different, with some exciting performances leading to victory for both horse and rider.

In 2017, Altior was ridden Nico de Boinville to win the Arkle Challenge Trophy on heavy ground at Cheltenham Racecourse. With a fast start and strong finish, the favourite Altior held off Cloudy Dreams and 25/1 outsider Ordinary World to take the win. The 2015 race was also exciting, with Un De Sceaux ridden by Ruby Walsh, winning the trophy in what was the first of back to back wins for the Irish Jockey. After a close battle between him and 33/1 outsider, Un De Sceaux won by 110 yards.

Taking a longer view, one could argue that 2016’s winner Douvan is one of the greatest recent winners of the Arkle Challenge Trophy. Douvan was ridden by Ruby Walsh and is widely considered to have leapfrogged all competition on the heavy ground with an extraordinary time which beat out Sizing John by more than 4 lengths.

Conversely, others argue that Footpad taken first in 2018, had a similarly impressive run under Ruby Walsh and showed similar power in coming away with first place after a race-long battle against Petit Mouchair and Saint Calvados.

Regardless of opinion about who is best amongst these recent winners, there can be no denying that performances from horses like Altior, Un De Sceaux and Douvan were electrifying displays from both horse and jockey alike, which make for truly memorable racing moments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2020?

The 2020 winner of the prestigious Arkle Challenge Trophy was Put The Kettle On ridden by jockey Aiden Coleman. They won the race with a time of 4 minutes and 8.14 seconds, beating out runner-up Fakir D’oudairies.

What is the history of the Arkle Challenge Trophy?

The Arkle Challenge Trophy is one of the most renowned horse races in the world. It has been held since 1969 and is named after the legendary Irish thoroughbred Arkle. The race was initially part of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival and was run over 1 mile and 7f.

Over the years, it has become one of the most prestigious races in British Racing and is now seen as an important test for many Champion Chasers.


The Arkle Challenge Trophy is a prestigious and coveted horse race that attracts many talented horses, race jockeys and trainers, and many spectators. It is sure to be an exciting event each year and a big focus on the Cheltenham Festival.

For those who are passionate about horse racing, this event is one of the greatest opportunities for showcasing their talent in front of world-class audiences. The thrill of the competition makes it an exhilarating experience for everyone involved, from the participants to the observers. Additionally, the purse money makes it highly lucrative for those who take part and do well.