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Letter: 100 greatest races: In truth, there were two winners.

Byline: DAVID IRWIN

CHELTENHAM, the Festival - no better setting for a race that can quite rightly be called great. The 1984 Arkle Chase, two miles ahead of them, two raw but extremely talented novices line up.

In the green corner is the mighty Bobsline, carrying sackfuls of Irish Punts, and in the red the Gordon Richards-trained Noddy's Ryde, representing Britain. Neither camp would hear of, nor contemplate, defeat.

Both produce a breathtaking round of jumping and at the top of the hill the two break clear, the noise builds to a crescendo, as the crowd, in which no-one is neutral, roar on their warriors. Upsides in the straight, the Irish champion forges ahead with sinews bursting up that unforgiving hill.

In truth, there were two winners that day. They say second is nowhere, yet anyone who witnessed the spectacle then will always remember the ill-fated Noddy's Ryde in the same breath as his conquerer Bobsline.

DAVID IRWIN Bridgwater Somerset

CAPTION(S):

Bobsline (near) and Noddy's Ryde, locked together at the last in the 1984 Arkle Chase
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 8, 2005
Words:176
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