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Arkle Chase Prediction: North Hill Harvay for the Cheltenham Festival Upset

North Hill Harvey – 20-1 Boylesports – NRNB – (each-way) 2.10pm Cheltenham Tuesday 13th March.

If the current betting is to be believed the Racing Post Arkle Novices’ Chase, the second race to be run on the opening day of the festival, is a three-way contest between the Irish-trained pair of Footpad and Petit Mouchoir and Saint Calvados from the Harry Whittington stable. The first named is a top price 6-4 with Betfair Sportsbook following three impressive victories since being sent over fences, the latest an all the way win over main market rival Petit Mouchoir in a Leopardstown Grade 1 last month.

 

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The runner-up there was having his first start for over three months since making an impressive chasing debut at Punchestown and is expected to come on for that run. A general 9-4 chance to gain revenge on the Willie Mullins-trained favourite the son of Al Namix did not particularly impress with his jumping at Leopardstown whereas main home challenger Saint Calvados has looked a natural since going over the bigger obstacles.

The lightly-raced five-year-old is undoubtedly a tremendous prospect but whether the gelding deserves to be as short as 3-1 is open to question and a much better value Cheltenham bet could be course specialist North Hill Harvey at the 20-1 available with Boylesports. The race has been the long term plan for the Kayf Tara gelding according to trainer Dan Skelton who is four from six at Prestbury Park.

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The two defeats came in the 2016 Supreme Novices Hurdle (ninth to Altior) and last year’s County Hurdle but since going chasing the seven-year-old has won both his starts on the course, the most impressive being a neck win over Sceau Royal back in October. That horse would have been a leading fancy for the race but for picking up a late injury and a reproduction of that effort would entitle North Hill Harvey to make the frame at the very least.

https://twitter.com/Ladbrokes/status/970682854823866368

The horse’s most recent performance behind Saint Calvados at Warwick is clearly not his form and is best ignored but back at the couse where he clearly excels makes plenty of each-way appeal at a big price.