The Irish Independent Arkle Chase is one of the popular races at the Cheltenham Festival and is one of the feature races of the first day.
This year is sure to be no different with a number of well-regarded runners in a tough field holding entries.
Amongst the favourites in the ante-post horse betting market are the very well-fancied Ghizao, Medermit and Finians Rainbow.
However, since Alan Fleming announced that AP McCoy would be riding his six-year-old Starluck, the grey gelding has attracted much attention from the professional gambling fraternity.
Speculation had been mounting with regard to the possible rider of the popular animal given that regular rider Timmy Murphy had already committed to the Paul Nicholls-trained rival, Ghizao.
McCoy is scheduled to ride Starluck when he makes his chase debut in the Wetherbys Cheltenham Betting Guide Novices’ Chase over 2 miles at Huntingdon on Thursday.
Fleming is expecting a good performance given the condition of the horse but is hoping against heavy ground.
Originally Starluck was expected to run in the Stan James Champion Hurdle following a good fifth place finish behind Binocular in the Williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. However, Fleming’s decision to target the Arkle has led to punters lumping on and the ante-post price has shortened from 20/1 into 16/1.
McCoy is the joint leading jockey in the Arkle since 1946 with three victories and will be hoping that Starluck provides him with the opportunity to add to his tally.