Arkle – The story of the World’s Greatest Steeplechaser
50th Anniversary Edition
The Story of the World’s Greatest Steeplechaser
By Sean Magee
“An affectionate but clear-headed portrait of a legend”
This revised and updated edition of Sean Magee’s acclaimed celebration of ‘Himself’ is published to mark the 50th anniversary of ‘The day Arkle became a god’.
TEN THINGS THAT SET ARKLE APART
- Arkle was so far ahead of his contemporaries that the handicapping rules had to be changed to accommodate his superiority
- He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times (1964, 1965 and 1966), Hennessy Gold Cup twice, King George VI Chase, Whitbread Gold Cup, Gallaher Gold Cup and Irish Grand National
- He regularly conceded huge amounts of weight to rivals in handicaps – and still beat them
- In all he ran in 26 steeplechases and won 22 of them
- Arkle was put down at the early age of 13 as an arthritic condition worsened, and his skeleton is now at the Irish National Stud in County Kildare
- Guinness was a staple part of his daily diet
- His career came to an untimely end when in December 1966 he broke a pedal bone in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park
- He was ranked by the Timeform organisation as the best steeplechaser of all time, with a rating of 212 – twenty pounds superior to the current jumping superstar Sprinter Sacre and way ahead of other equine heroes like Desert Orchid (187) and Kauto Star (191)
- In Ireland he was a true national hero, commemorated on stamps as well as through song, poetry, art and drama
- In a Racing Post poll in 2004, Arkle was voted readers’ favourite racehorse ever, despite the fact that he had not raced for nearly four decades. He won the vote by a wide margin from Desert Orchid, with Red Rum third
Arkle: The Story of the World’s Greatest Steeplechaser is published on 28th February by Racing Post Books priced £16.99. It is available from www.racingpost.com/shop and all good bookshops.
SEAN MAGEE is the author of many books on horse racing, including Ascot: The history (2002), Lester’s Derbys, with Lester Piggott (2004), and The Injured Jockeys’ Fund: Celebrating fifty years (2013).