Fitzy's Focus: Rouge Vif

The 6yo is a lively Arkle outsider following his victory in the Kingmaker at Warwick.

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ROUGE VIF

Rouge Vif
  • Trainer: Harry Whittington
  • Jockey: Gavin Sheehan
  • Owner: Kate & Andrew Brooks
  • Age: 6
  • Likely Festival Target: Arkle Chase
  • Current Price: 16-1 (Betway), (13th February)
  • Season Form Figures: 421
  • Cheltenham Record: 4
  • Cheltenham Festival Record: -
  • Big-race wins: Premier Kelso Novices' Hurdle (2019), Kingmaker Novices' Chase 2020
Mick says
Mick's view:

ROUGE VIF, for me, looks a live each way bet at 16-1 for the Arkle Challenge Trophy. He is not a 16-1 shot and he was brilliant when winning the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick on Saturday.

When you look at previous winners of the Arkle you see that they are horses who have performed at the top level over hurdles and this fella ticks those boxes. He was third in a Grade 1 at Aintree behind Felix Desjy only beaten eight and a half lengths and he was very slick around Warwick and it is a track that needs a bit of jumping.

He has had a wind operation that seems to have helped him and he also ran a belter at Kempton behind Global Citizen on his first run since that wind operation and he clearly improved on that at Warwick.

He didn’t run in the Supreme last year as they kept him for Aintree, but I don’t think there is any doubting this horse’s ability and I was very impressed with his jumping at Warwick. There are so many question marks about those horses at the top of the market that this horse with Grade 1 hurdle form is a really good each-way bet in a race that looks sure to have plenty of runners in it.

ed only a length and three quarters behind Esprit Du Large in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown previously then Rouge Vif’s seven length success on Saturday looks even better.

His current price is just too big and he should be shorter and I am certainly going to back him each-way. Gavin Sheehan said he loved the ground drying out on Saturday and if it was quicker at Cheltenham it wouldn’t bother him.”

The Bottom Line

Strong Suit
“He has Grade 1 hurdle form and he appears to be improving over fences.”
Weak Spot
“It is only placed Grade 1 hurdle form and he still has to step up but in a wide-open race I see no reason why he won’t.”