Arkle Trial betting tips: Defi Du Seuil has a shout on Cheltenham chasing return

Horsebetting.com experts give 2018 Arkle Trial betting tips for the 2m Grade 2 novice chase at the November Meeting at Cheltenham on Sunday, 18 November. Defi Du Seuil is unbeaten in four starts around Prestbury Park and thus taken to land the spoils on his bow over fences. Claimantakinforgan heads the betting, so is feared most for champion trainer Nicky Henderson. Of those at bigger prices, Lalor makes each-way appeal as an alternative to the top two if treated on the pick of his form. There are further details in our 2018 Arkle Trial betting tips preview below.

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Odds
7/2
Selection
Defi Du Seuil
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Paddy Power logo
Odds
9/4
Danger
Claimantakinforgan
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Betfred logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Lalor
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Defi Du Seuil can deliver on chase debut in Arkle Trial

Defi Du Seuil is unbeaten in four hurdles starts in and around 2m at Cheltenham, so it may be worth forgiving his struggles in open company last season now he takes to chasing. Trainer Philip Hobbs starts him off in the 2m Grade 2 Arkle Trial at the Cotswolds venue this Sunday (13:50) and his handler is in much better form this term.

Nothing went right for this five-year-old son of Voix Du Nord in 2017-18, having completed a flawless juvenile campaign in which he scored three times at the highest level. After landing a hat-trick including back-to-back successes here at Prestbury Park, the JP McManus owned gelding bolted up by 13 lengths in the Grade 1 Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle on Welsh Grand National day at Chepstow.

When Defi Du Seuil won a third Triumph Hurdle trial in the Finesse by nine lengths on Festival Trials Day, he was the obvious one to be on come the big four-year-olds event. Back-to-back successes here and the Aintree Grand National meeting brought up a seven-timer.

It marked Defi Du Seuil out as a serious prospect going forward but, like so many juveniles stepping into open company, he found last season really difficult. He was out of sorts and the first one beaten when stepped up to 2m 3f for the first time on reappearance in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot.

Connections then went to the Irish Champion Hurdle, but Defi Du Seuil just couldn’t land a blow at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival. The decision to switch him to fences and go novice chasing this season looks a smart move, especially with handler Hobbs having his team in much better shape than last term.

If dismissing his previous campaign, then Defi Du Seuil looks value to land the spoils as he should make a chaser. At the odds on offer, he appeals as the type to take to this sphere and is therefore put up as the main selection in our 2018 Arkle Trial betting tips.

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Claimantakinforgan has obvious claims

The betting is headed by champion trainer Nicky Henderson’s Claimantakinforgan – a point winner who landed his chasing debut last time out. Unlike Defi Du Seuil, this six-year-old has never won a race around Prestbury Park but ran very solidly in defeat at the last two Festivals.

After landing his debut bumper, Claimantakinforgan was 2 3/4 lengths third to ill-fated mare Fayonagh in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper back in 2017. He also has just three lengths or so to find on the re-opposing Lalor from the Aintree equivalent, and then landed his first two hurdles starts last season and was later a five-length fifth to Summerville Boy in the Supreme here.

The runner-up, Kalashnikov, has come out and won his chasing debut in classy style this season, so that bodes well for Claimantakinforgan. He will have learned plenty from his own bow over fences at Uttoxeter earlier this month when a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths victor over former Scottish Champion Hurdle hero Chesterfield, confirming previous hurdles form.

Given connections, Claimantakinforgan is respected and his claims are clear. However, in a competitive looking renewal of the Arkle Trial, where a case can be made for most, this is one favourite that may be worth taking on.

Lalor looks each-way alternative

With just six going to post and punters ruling any of the field out at their peril, any of the remainder could make the frame if either Defi Du Seuil or Claimantakinforgan don’t deliver. Preference from the other four, then, is for Lalor, who has some very smart hurdles form in the book.

Trained by Kayley Woollacott, this six-year-old won three of his four bumpers – including the aforementioned Grade 2 event at the Aintree Grand National meeting. Lalor then ran three solid races in defeat last autumn, especially when a two-length runner-up to Western Ryder here in December.

The third horse home was none other than subsequent Supreme hero Summerville Boy, so that gives the form a rock solid look. Toiling on tough going in the ultra-competitive Betfair Hurdle clearly wasn’t to Lalor’s taste at Newbury on his penultimate start, but he then went in at Grade 1 level when winning at the Grand National meeting for the second consecutive year last time out.

After making headway to challenge three out, he soon led and was then ridden – finding more when joined in between the last two flights. Lalor then went clear up the run-in, beating Vision Des Flos in the 2m Top Novices’ Hurdle by 2 1/2 lengths. Bedrock, a further three-quarters of a length further back in third, has come out this season and inflicted defeat on the mighty Samcro over in Ireland.

If this strong hurdles forms translates over to chasing, then at the odds on offer Lalor is clearly in with every chance. Champion jockey Richard Johnson again takes the ride, so connections clearly mean business and that’s why he is included as the each-way pick in our 2018 Arkle Trial betting tips.

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