Cheltenham Festival: Third Time Lucki cut to 14/1 for Arkle 2022 after chasing debut

Could it be third time lucky for, er, Third Time Lucki at the Cheltenham Festival?

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Paddy’s traders reacted to Third Time Lucki’s terrific chasing debut at Cheltenham by cutting Dan Skelton’s charge to 14/1 for next year’s Arkle Chase.

The 11/8 favourite for last Friday’s squareintheair.com Novices’ Chase, Third Time Lucki justified the hype by romping to a comfortable 8½l victory from Buddy Rich. It was his fourth career run at Prestbury Park, with previous appearances including a fourth in the 2020 Champion Bumper behind Ferny Hollow and Appreciate It and placing sixth in this year’s County Hurdle.

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10/1
Third Time Lucki Arkle Chase (Antepost)

Third Time Lucki, who is set to be targeted at the Arkle Chase after his course-and-distance victory, could return to Cheltenham on Paddy Power Day at next month’s November Meeting although ground conditions will dictate whether he runs.

Trainer Skelton said: “You hear us all say it, but he really was an embryonic chaser so we’re chuffed to bits. He might come back here for the Paddy Power meeting – but if the ground was bad he wouldn’t run – then he’ll go for the Henry VIII and ultimately back here in March.

“Some people say I don’t test my novice chasers enough, that I dodged it with My Drogo last year, but I’m trying to get the best out of them when I can. He’s now been round Cheltenham so we can plan for March.

“He’s a pure two-miler and the faster they go, the better. He’s always had a great deal of ability but he also had a lot of self belief, that nothing could get the better of him, which sometimes isn’t a good thing.”

He added: “It didn’t work out last season but what it did do was give him experience, he went up hill and down dale, left-handed, right-handed – he’s done it all.

“I tinkered with his wind in the summer and now Harry (Skelton) can really ride him, whereas before he had to be dropped out last. Everything has come together.”

Third Time Lucki could face two of his previous foes in the Arkle Chase. Appreciate It heads our antepost betting market after romping to victory in this year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle while Ferny Hollow – absent from the track since November 2020 due to injury – is joint-second with Bob Olinger at 8/1.

5/2
Appreciate It Arkle Chase (Antepost)

8/1
Ferny Hollow Arkle Chase (Antepost)

Stablemate My Drogo is priced at 14/1 although Skelton has indicated last season’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle winner is likely to going chasing over a longer distance than Third Time Lucki, with the Marsh Novices’ Chase the more likely target.

16/1
My Drogo Arkle Chase (Antepost)

Arkle Chase Antepost Odds

5/2 – Appreciate It
8/1 – Ferny Hollow, Bob Olinger
14/1 – My Drogo, Third Time Lucki
16/1 – Monmiral
25/1 – Dusart, Ballyadam, Blue Lord, Jungle Boogie, James Du Berlais, Aspire Tower
33/1 – Metier, Abacadabras, Quilixios, Sir Gerhard, Stepney Causeway, Mister Coffey, Classical Dream, Magic Daze, Riviere Detel
40/1 – BAR

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