The Irish got off the mark in race two of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival as Put The Kettle On burnt off her opposition to win the Racing Post Arkle for Waterford trainer Henry De Bromhead and Cork-born jockey Aidan Coleman.
De Bromhead saddled the favourite in 5-2 shot Notebook but it was his largely unconsidered stablemate, victorious over course and distance last November, who ultimately landed the spoils at odds of 16-1, showing guts aplenty to fend off the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D'Oudairies by a length and a half.
In doing so, she became the first mare to win the Arkle for 40 years.
Rouge Vif, trained by Harry Whittington, fared best of the home contingent in third but Notebook was the big disappointment, trailing in last of the six finishers.
Of the winner, De Bromhead said: “I’m delighted. Aidan was totally brilliant on her and said she just attacked every fence. She had the horse in distance form from last year, so you couldn’t underestimate her.
“Notebook was probably our most fancied one but in fairness, she (Put the Kettle On) just keeps improving. For a mare that won a 116 beginners chase in Kilbeggan she’s come a long way!”
On the beaten favourite, De Bromhead added: “Notebook was disappointing obviously. I just saw when we dropped out, Cash Back dropped out as well and it just crossed my mind the Irish Arkle was a tough race together. Rachel (Blackmore, jockey), was tapping him down after the fourth last so I thought we were in trouble.”
In stark contrast, Aidan Coleman was having a great time of it with Put The Kettle On.
“All the way I absolutely was having some craic — then turning in, I was going to be sick if I got beaten.
“She’s a good mare — I turned off the bend and gave her a kick down to the second last and she absolutely lifted into the middle of it and I thought: ‘Brilliant, we’re away now.’
“Then I was just praying. If she’d have got beat she’d have been very unlucky, but she’s a very good mare. It’s her jumping — it is a joy to behold. She’s just brilliant.”
That she was.