Arkle

Arkle

Arkle without doubt was the first racehorse to capture the British and Irish public imagination, out side of the racing industry. Even today he is regarded as the greatest steeplechaser of all time, winning 27 of his 35 starts. His timeform rating of 212 is the highest ever bestowed on a steeplechaser, only his stablemate, Flyingbolt, got anywhere near this mark at 210.

Arkle was trained in Ireland by legendary trainer, Tom Dreaper and was ridden throughout his career by top jockey, Pat Taafe. Much of Arkles career was interwoven with that of the top English steeplechaser at the time, Mill House. They first met on the racecourse in the Hennesey Gold Cup in 1963 at Newbury, where Arkle finished a disappointing third behind Mill House. However in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1964, Arkle got his revenge and came home the victor, by 5 lengths. He was to go on and win the race in both of the next two years, beating Mill House by thirty lengths in 1966. Another of his amazing feats was to win the Irish Grand National, by 1 length, despite carrying 2 ½ stones more than any other horse in the race.