Probably the best chaser the world has ever seen, and ever will see.

Arkle, born on 19 April 1957 at Ballymacoll in Ireland, was a son of Archive, who was by the Italian undefeated legend Nearco, and Bright Cherry, a daughter of Knight Of The Garter.
He was owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminister, trained throughout his outstanding career by Tom Dreaper at Greenogue, and ridden by Pat Taaffe.

Arkle won 27 of his 35 races, ran second twice and third three times, over distances from 1m 6f up to 3m 5f and carrying heavy weights.

Amongst his victories are three consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups and Leopardtown Chases from 1964-1966, the 1965 King George VI Chase, and important handicap chases, such as the 1964 Irish Grand National where he carried 35 lb (ca. 16 kg) more than his rivals, the 1964 and 1965 Hennessy Gold Cups, the 1965 Gallagher Gold Cup where he conceded 16 lb (ca. 7,3 kg) to Mill House while breaking the course record by 17 seconds, and the 1965 Whitbread Gold Cup.

When he met Mill House, the 1963 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and his longtime rival, for the first time in the 1963 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, “the House” beat him, but Arkle slipped a few fences out and finishing third.

In the 1965 Gold Cup Arkle beat Mill House by 20 lengths, and in the 1966 renewal, he was the shortest priced favourite in history to win the Gold Cup, starting at odds of 1/10. He won by 30 lengths, despite ploughing through a fence early in the race.

In the 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup, Stalbridge Colonist won by half a length over Arkle, who carried 35 lb (ca. 16 kg) more than the winner.

In the King George VI Chase at Kempton in December 1966, Arkle struck the guard rail with a hoof when jumping the open ditch, which resulted in a fractured pedal bone. Despite the injury, he completed the race and finished second.

He was in plaster for four months, and never raced again, even though he made a good enough recovery to go back to training. He was retired and ridden as a hack by his owner.

He then succumbed to what has been variously described as advanced arthritis, or possibly brucellosis, and was put to sleep at the age of 13, on 31 May 1970. He was was buried at the Duchess of Westminster’s farm at Bryanstown.

The Irish national legend’s strength was jokingly claimed to come from drinking Guinness twice a day, and at one point, the slogan “Arkle for President” was written on a wall in Dublin. He was often referred to “Himself”, and it is said, that he received items of fan mail addressed to ‘Himself, Ireland’.

A statue in his memory was erected in Ashbourne in April 2014.

His Timeform rating at 212 is the highest ever awarded to a steeplechaser. Only his stablemate who raced at the same time, Flyingbolt, has a rating near Arkle’s, at 210. Next on Timeform’s ratings are with 192 the still-active Sprinter Sacre and at 191 Kauto Star and Arkle’s rival Mill House. 

Arkle is honoured with the Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham, and the Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

In 1994 he was elected to the British Steeplechasing Hall of Fame.

Photo source: X

Twelve Dances

For this week’s cosmere challenge I decided to try my hand at writing different parings, not just those that I adore. This fandom has many parings that don’t get any love or very little and I wanted to have a little something for everyone here. I apologize in advance if I butchered any parings in my attempt to write a drabble for them. It was a challenge but one I am glad I tackled. 

A very big thank you to dm-mo for the beta and the criticism. Many of these drabbles would be all the poorer if not for her efforts. 

Title: Twelve Dances
Word Count: 1412
Parings: In order; Dalivani (Navani/Dalinar), Dalishshshsh (Dalinar/shshshsh), Shadolin (Shallan/Adolin), Kalarin (Kaladin/Renarin), Shallarin (Shallan/Renarin), Adomav (Jakamav/Adolin), Kalazil (Sigzil/Kaladin), Shasnah (Jasnah/Shallan), Kaloash (Moash/Kaladin) Adorin (Adolin/Renarin), Shalladin (Shallan/Kaladin) and Kadolin (Kaladin/Adolin)
Notes/Warnings: The Shasnah one contains a very tiny spoiler for the piece Tor recently published on their website. 

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