This is the weakest Arkle I’ve ever known with doubts about all the leading contenders. Tatenen the favourite was beaten at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting by another contender Follow The Plan who can only manage a poor third at the same venue in the Irish Arkle yesterday. Receiving 8lbs Tatenen really should have won and he’s a poor favourite. Challenging for favouritism is Calgary Bay who was also beaten last time and whose trainer has said, ‘they would do him for toe in the Arkle’. I would agree – too slow. Kalahari King is next in the betting but he hasn’t beaten anything of note, is getting on for a novice at 8 years old and was beaten last time. Next up is Forpadydeplasterer who was also beaten in the Irish Arkle yesterday and had a hard race. He will be better on good ground but I’d rather look for a winner. Panjo Bere, Calgary Bay’s conqueror at Ascot meets that criteria but he’s a ground dependent horse and must have soft. We are now getting into those priced over 20/1 and Araldur could be interesting but he’s not certain to run. So let’s go for a last time out winner, a Grade 2 winner at a top class track, a horse with a higher Racing Post rating than Kalahari King but is two and half times the price.
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