sport

Arkle has Champagne sparkle

Ante-post favourites Champagne Fever and Rock On Ruby are among 18 horses left in the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham on Tuesday .

The Willie Mullins-trained Champagne Fever has been successful at the showpiece meeting for the last two years, in the Champion Bumper and the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, and while he has only had two runs over fences he impressed in a schooling session after racing at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Harry Fry's Rock On Ruby is also no stranger to Cheltenham, famously lifting the Champion Hurdle in 2012 when officially trained by Paul Nicholls and finding only Hurricane Fly too good last year.

Mullins can also call on Djakadam, Felix Yonger and Mozoltov, with Nicholls having two strong contenders with Dodging Bullets and Hinterland, and Fry another potential candidate in Vukovar.

The Charles Byrnes-trained Triofolium was a smart winner of the Irish Arkle, with stablemate Arnaud and Tony Martin's Ted Veale others still in contention for Ireland.

Brick Red, Raya Star, Grandouet, Claret Cloak, Valdez, Next Sensation and Western Warhorse all stood their ground.