Seebald and Barton head the betting for the £125,000 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase after the 57 entries for the Cheltenham Festival contest were revealed yesterday.
Martin Pipe has eight entries for the two-mile race but Seebald, who completed a seven-timer at Warwick earlier this month, is the best of them. Barton, the 1999 Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle winner, has made an outstanding start over fences for trainer Tim Easterby. Other entries are the Nicky Henderson-trained pair, Fondmort and Blue Royal, Armaturk and St Pirran, from Paul Nicholls's stable, and Truckers Tavern, an easy winner at Newcastle on Wednesday for Ferdy Murphy.
There are no fewer than 15 Irish-trained entries – a new record – while, from France, there are Guillaume Macaire's pair, Imlight and Mont Misere,
ARKLE TROPHY (Coral ante-post betting): 4-1 Seebald, 5-1 Barton, 6-1 Fondmort, Moscow Flyer, 10-1 Blue Royal, 14-1 Armaturk, Royal Auclair, 16-1 Europa, Youlneverwalkalone, Grimes, 20-1 others.Reuse content