“Arkle Ale” honours legendary Irish ‘chaser

Arkle in action.
Arkle in action.

A new beer has been named in honour of Ireland’s most famous racehorse, 1960s steeplechaser Arkle.

The beer will be on tap at Cheltenham Racecourse’s Arkle Bar from Friday, as the result of a partnership with local brewery Arkell’s.

Arkle AleArkle Ale is described as being smooth with a well-rounded finish, “like its namesake”.

Arkle won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times: in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He was born in County Meath in 1957 and named after a Scottish mountain. Along with his Cheltenham successes this amazing horse won many other major races and became a national hero across the racing world. Arkle is widely recognised as the greatest steeplechaser of the post-war era and has a statue and a two-mile chase, the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy, dedicated to him at The Cheltenham Festival.

John Arkell at Arkell’s Brewery, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate our ‘almost’ namesake by teaming up with Cheltenham Racecourse this year. We’re off to a flying start by supplying the Arkle Bar and brewing a fantastic new beer.”


Cheltenham Racecourse’s Catering General Manager Phil Roberts said working with local suppliers was important. “We sit on the edge of the Cotswolds with a huge and diverse range of companies to partner with. We are delighted to be working with a local brewery that has a heritage almost as old as ours, and is as excited about great racing at Cheltenham as we are. We think Arkle Ale will be an odds-on favourite.”

Arkle (19 April 1957 – 31 May 1970) was by Archive out of Bright Cherry, bred at Ballymacoll Stud, County Meath, by Mrs Mary Alison Baker of Malahow House, near Naul, County Dublin. Owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, Arkle was trained by Tom Dreaper at Greenogue, Kilsallaghan in County Meath, Ireland, and ridden during his steeplechasing career by Pat Taaffe.

Arkle became a national legend in Ireland. His strength was jokingly claimed to come from drinking Guinness twice a day. The government-owned Irish National Stud, at Tully, Kildare, Co. Kildare, Ireland, has the skeleton of Arkle on display in its museum. A statue in his memory was erected in Ashbourne Co. Meath in April 2014.

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