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Arkle is widely regarded as British horse racing's greatest steeplechaser. He was entered in three Cheltenham Gold Cups in 1964, 1965 and 1966 and won them all achieving a treble; a feat only to have been completed by two other horses prior to him, Golden Miller and Cottage Rake. He was also awarded the highest steeplechaser Timeform rating of 212; a rating even higher than that of Desert Orchard's of 187.
Anne, Duchess of Westminster, bought Arkle as an unbroken three-year old at Goff's sales, Ballsbridge as lot 148 on 4th August 1960 for 1150 guineas. Named after a mountain close to the Duchess's estate in Lochmore, Northwest Scotland, Arkle's sire was an unsuccessful stallion on the racecourse and his dam an average two-miler. He won his first hurdle race in a three mile novice race at Navan in on January 1862, as a five-year old and as his trainer Tom Dreaper remarked 'he didn't stop winning for years'. Arkle, ridden by Pat Taafe, won twenty-seven of his thirty-five races including the Irish Grand National (1964), the King George VI Chase (1965) and twice at the Leopardstown Chase and the Hennesy Gold Cup (1964, 1965). He never fell on the racecourse and was beaten only three times over fences including his last race at the Kempton Boxing Day meet in 1966. Kempton was postponed due to frost to the following day and Arkle shocked everyone by coming in second to Dormant in the King George VI. It was later discovered that he had broken a pedal bone during the race. Despite an operation, Arkle never raced again and on October 9th 1968 he retired to Duchess's farm at Bryanstown, Co. Kildare. He continued to suffer from stiffness due to his brake and was finally put down on 31st May 1970.