Identity Thief out to cement Arkle claims

Identity Thief: was a Grade 1 winner as a hurdler

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Identity Thief out to cement Arkle claims By Brian Sheerin 10:24AM 20 NOV 2016

ALREADY as short as 7-1 for the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Identity Thief will be bidding to follow up his impressive chasing debut of last month in this race.

A Grade 1 winner over hurdles last season when winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, Identity Thief looked a natural over the larger obstacles at this track in October when comfortably accounting for an average field.

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The Gigginstown-owned chaser faces just four rivals, two of whom are also trained by De Bromhead, in a bid to record back-to-back wins over fences.

Ordinary World has won his only chase start, and on that occasion he had four lengths in hand over reopposing rival Attribution over this trip at Fairyhouse.

Ball D'Arc belatedly got his head in front in this sphere at Wexford last time under Ruby Walsh, who again takes the ride. The Gordon Elliott-trained son of Network has always possessed a lot of natural speed and looks sure to appreciate this trip.

The last member of field is Bentelimar, who faces a tough test on his chase debut.

Henry de Bromhead, who describes Identity Thief as exciting, hopes the six-year-old can put up another good jumping display this afternoon.

He said: "Identity Thief is very well and he looked good on debut. Hopefully he can put in another nice round of jumping and he remains exciting.

"As for Ordinary World, he was good at Fairyhouse and he seems in good form. I think he'll post a good run as well. Attribution has a bit to find with Ordinary World but he won nicely at Naas last time."

Gordon Elliott is realistic about the task at hand for Ball D'Arc. He said: "He's in very good form and he did it well at Wexford. If I'm being honest, Identity Thief looks to be a penalty kick and if he stands up, I would say we'll find it hard to beat him."

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