| 2.4°C Dublin

Harty more than happy with Cee Bee's claim for the Arkle

Eddie Harty believes he has Captain Cee Bee in exactly the right shape for a leading performance in next month's Irish Independent Arkle Trophy.

The only blip in the former Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner's campaign over fences was a fall at the last at Leopardstown over Christmas when looking to have the measure of Sizing Europe.

But the Arkle favourite rectified things with an easy win at Naas this month.

"He is where we want him to be now -- he needs a couple of bits of work but nothing too strenuous," said Harty.

"He doesn't have to prove to me how fit he is and he doesn't have to burn up the gallops to prove it.

"I just want to keep him ticking over, let him strengthen up, and bring him over in good form.

"The last time we went he hadn't run for four months so we were trying to get the horse to a peak for Cheltenham, whereas now the work is all done and I am just keen to get him there.

"It's a totally different set of circumstances, but it doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

"It's certainly going to be a very good race at Cheltenham and he goes there with a favourite's chance.

"I know Henry (de Bromhead) thinks a lot of his horse (Sizing Europe)."

"But I think that Captain Cee Bee would have beaten him at Leopardstown at Christmas -- he was cantering when he came down.


"Even the fall wasn't a proper fall -- he just pitched a bit steeply."

Captain Cee Bee missed all of last season with a leg problem but Harty feels it may have been a blessing in disguise.

He continued: "I actually think that he has improved for the rest.

"All horses have to mature at some stage, when they go all gangly and need time to strengthen up again.

"If you can persist with them, then they can come back and reproduce their previous level of form."