Frazzled previews the Arkle Chase and while he is not going to take on Douvan, he thinks Sizing John is a good bet in the without the favourite market.
I think we had to go all the way back to Sybillin in 1993 to find an odds on favourite for the Arkle before Sprinter Sacre arrived here in 2012. Sybillin was beaten behind Travado in that contest, but 3 of the last 4 renewals of the Arkle have now gone to odds on favourite. This certainly is a result of the inclusion of the JLT Novices Chase and the dilution of the Arkle field, but we also have witnessed some class acts in the past few years and we have the potential to have a shorter price fav than Simonsig in the shape of Douvan no matter how much the bookmakers might want to get the Mullins hotpot beaten.
This looks a case of waving the white flag as unless an accident happens, it is just impossible to see Douvan getting beat here. The winning distance betting could be interesting as he is likely to be pushed out to the line in order to cement his brilliance and he has won by nearly 43 lengths on three chase starts without gently nudging last time taking over from Ruby Walsh allowing him to coast home. The betting on the distance is only with Coral at the moment and they are going 13/8 over or under 8 lengths, but on quicker ground, we might see this clipped to 7 lengths or possible 6.
In the absence of having a bet in the main market, the question is who will follow Douvan home. Vaniteux is the favourite in this market and while he has plenty of Cheltenham form, he has not jumped fences around here. He has won two of his 3 starts over fences and came away in impressive fashion last time. However despite looking spectacular over some fences, when he has a clear sight of them, he has made errors which he could be punished for around here. He got in close at the second last at Kempton on his penultimate start and he was wrong at the 6th last at Doncaster last time, while he also screwed the 3rd last. Added to the fact that he seems to have a little bit of a flat spot, he makes limited appeal at the prices.
Sizing John has won two of his three chase starts, with the other one being a thrashing at the hands of Douvan. He has not been impressive to our eye in these two wins, but what was impressive was his jumping. He looks very assured over his fences like most of his stablemates are and the fact that he travelled so well last year in the Supreme on the better surface, suggests that he should travel better on this ground again in the Arkle. Hopefully he will not try and mix it with Douvan to the detriment of his chances and result in him fading up the hill, as he did to an extent last year. If he does not burn himself out, he looks a solid proposition in the without the favouritye market here in what looks a fairly shallow contest outside the outstanding Mullins runner.
2 points win Sizing John (without Douvan) at 2/1 with Bet365