Horse Racing Tips: Arkle Chase Predictions, Preview and Best Bets For Cheltenham Festival

The Arkle Chase, a cornerstone of the Cheltenham Festival, is a spectacle that captivates the attention of racing enthusiasts across the globe. This Grade 1 novice chase, contested over two miles, will take place on Tuesday 12th March at 2:10 pm and it is not only a test of speed but also of precision, as emerging talents tackle the demanding fences of Cheltenham’s old course.

With last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle victor, Marine Nationale, unfortunately ruled out, the 2024 edition promises to be a thrilling renewal with the spotlight now shifting to other contenders.


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Arkle Chase Preview, Predictions And Best Bets

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Arkle Chase Best Bets

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The Contenders and Their Prospects

Il Etait Temps and Found A Fifty: With Marine Nationale out of the picture, Il Etait Temps and Found A Fifty have emerged as the frontrunners, each displaying significant potential. Il Etait Temps, now seen as a dark horse, possesses the capability to shock many if he can expertly navigate the course. On the other side, Found A Fifty is seen as a hopeful chaser whose performance on the day will be pivotal in determining his success.

Gaelic Warrior: Gaelic Warrior stands out with his versatility and potential adjustment in racing strategy, which could reveal new aspects of his capability, making him a compelling pick for those looking beyond the leading contenders.

Iroko: The inclusion of Iroko brings an element of unpredictability to the race. His innate chasing skills, showcased at Warwick, suggest he could influence the race dynamics, despite being considered an outsider.

Analytical Deep Dive: Strengths and Weaknesses
With Marine Nationale’s withdrawal altering the Arkle Chase landscape, Il Etait Temps and Found A Fifty, now at the forefront of the betting, are under pressure to demonstrate their worth in a contest ripe for upsets.

The challenge for both is to exhibit top form amidst a field that could yield surprises at any turn. The novelty of novice chasing, underscored by the potential for pivotal errors, casts a fascinating veil over this year’s Arkle Chase, promising a contest filled with anticipation and strategic calculations.

Predictions for the Arkle Chase


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Main Bet: Il Etait Temps

With Marine Nationale out of the running, attention shifts towards Il Etait Temps, a horse that now finds itself at the forefront of discussions for the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Trained by W P Mullins, whose stable has been in scintillating form over the last 14 days with a 43% win rate, Il Etait Temps carries not just the expectations of the Hollywood Syndicate & Barnane Stud but also of punters looking for a worthy investment.

Race Record and Recent Form

Il Etait Temps boasts a commendable jumps placings record of 5/235/412152-121, underlining his consistency and adaptability across various conditions and distances. His lifetime record reveals 8 runs, with 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third, amassing earnings of £141,098. This grey gelding’s best RPR (Racing Post Rating) of 157, along with an OR (Official Rating) of 154, signals his capability to perform at the highest level.

Looking closer at his recent form, Il Etait Temps has shown remarkable resilience and skill. His last outing at Leopardstown in the Novice Chase Grade 1 over 2m1f on yielding/soft ground saw him clinching victory by a neck against Found A Fifty, earning an RPR of 156. This performance, coupled with a win in a 2m2½f chase at Thurles and a strong second place in a 2m3½f Novice Chase at Limerick under heavy conditions, illustrates his versatility and robustness.

Strengths to Leverage

Il Etait Temps’ strengths lie in his tenacity and the ability to adapt to varying distances and ground conditions. His recent victory against Found A Fifty, a significant contender, highlights his competitiveness and knack for performing under pressure. Under the guidance of W P Mullins, a trainer known for peaking horses at the right moment, Il Etait Temps enters the Arkle Chase with a finely tuned preparation that promises to bring out his best.

Potential Concerns

Despite his impressive form, Il Etait Temps must contend with the unpredictable nature of novice chases at Cheltenham. The course’s demanding fences and the intensity of the competition can test even the most seasoned horses. Additionally, his performance in Grade 1 hurdles at Cheltenham and Punchestown against top-tier competition like Facile Vega presents a mixed picture, suggesting that while he has the capability, the execution on the day must be flawless.

Conclusion and Betting Perspective

Il Etait Temps emerges as a compelling choice for the Arkle Chase, especially with the absence of Marine Nationale. His recent form, adaptability, and the backing of a high-performing stable position him as a strong contender. Bettors should consider his competitive odds as an attractive proposition, acknowledging both his proven capabilities and the inherent risks associated with novice chasing. With a mix of strategic betting and an appreciation for his potential, Il Etait Temps stands out as a dark horse capable of capturing the spotlight at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

The Dark Horse: Found A Fifty

A tantalising opportunity emerges with Found A Fifty, a horse demonstrating immense talent and promise, momentarily overshadowed by a narrow defeat in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown. The narrative around Found A Fifty is one of potential redemption and the quest to avenge his previous setback. His past performances, marked by strategic races that showcased his exceptional chasing ability, make him an engaging prospect for those looking beyond the favourite.

The appeal of Found A Fifty as an each-way bet is multifaceted. Firstly, his competitive odds present a valuable chance for bettors looking for worth, a window into capitalising on his ability to exceed expectations. Secondly, the anticipation surrounding his outing in the Arkle Chase is filled with speculation. Can Found A Fifty leverage the strategy of being played late by Jack Kennedy to overturn his recent narrow loss? This question injects an additional level of fascination into the race, positioning Found A Fifty as a captivating selection for punters inclined to consider the prospects that deviate from mainstream predictions.

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John Pentin
Born and raised in London, John has always been in love with sport. He started successfully his own blog back in 2006, while writing for football in several newspaper. John has also worked with several betting operators as sports trader and has joined since the start in 2013. John is now head of the content team at