Rarely in recent memory has a three-runner race boasted quite such a quality field as the 2015 Irish Arkle at Leopardstown, with an embarrassment of sexy form on offer.
Willie Mullins’ Un De Sceaux, for so long as much myth as a racehorse, will likely go off 8/11 favourite to claim his 11th victory of a distinctly slow-burning 12-race career.
Then there’s Ender Bolger’s 3/1 shot Gilgamboa (the mount of AP McCoy), who trounced subsequent Grade 2 winner Wounded Warrior by in excess of 24 lengths last time out to extended his unbeaten record over fences to two.
However, both may struggle to serve it up to Clarcam, who is a mystifying 7/2 outsider given he finds himself in receipt of a 10lbs weight-for-age-allowance from his adversaries.
Not only that, but it could be argued that he boasts the best form on offer, having lowered the colours of Mullins’ previously peerless 2014 Supreme Novices Hurdle winner Vautor.
Admittedly his rivals also have some tasty recent showings over fences in the ledger …
Gilgamboa’s last run has already been noted, while Un De Sceaux’s 12l beating of Smashing at Fairyhouse looks all the better for that one scoring by an easy 33 lengths in Beginners Chase company in his next assignment.
However, the Bolger horse’s victory came over 2m3f, rather than the Arkle’s 2m1f, while vanquished foe Wounded Warrior’s victory in the aftermath came over 3m.
Smashing may have scored in a facile manner over the basement trip when bouncing back from his defeat to Un De Sceaux, but Henry De Bromhead’s five-year-old has not yet proved himself remotely in the same league as Vautor, who seemed to have the 2m novice chasing division at his mercy until coming unstuck against Clarcam over course and distance at Christmas.
Gordon Elliot’s gelding had excellent jumping to thank for making the difference on that occasion, with the Mullins inmate making a serious error down the back straight.
That must rate yet another feather in the cap of Clarcam, who looks a value 7/2 bet to land the principal bout on the Hurricane Fly v Jezki VII undercard.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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