Arkle Chase Tips

The Arkle Chase is shaping up to be a potential duel between Facile Vega and Marine Nationale, who currently stand out with significantly lower odds compared to other contenders.

In the 2023 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the top two finishers are now leading the odds for the 2024 Arkle Chase, with Marine Nationale emerging victorious in that event.

Arkle Chase Tips for 2024Arkle Odds
Marine Nationale5/2
Il Etait Temps5/1
Found A Fifty6/1
Hunters Yarn10/1
Facile Vega10/1
Jpr One11/1
Gaelic Warrior11/1
Arkle Chase

Trained by Barry Connell, Marine Nationale triumphed at last year’s Festival by a margin of three and a quarter lengths, surpassing the favored Facile Vega, who is now keen to reverse this result.

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As they transition to jumping over larger obstacles, the competition between these two horses appears to be intensifying. Facile Vega has already shown promise in this new challenge, securing a win in a Beginners Chase at Navan.

Meanwhile, Marine Nationale has not yet had the opportunity to showcase his chasing skills this season, which could potentially impact the odds as the season progresses.

The racing scene could still evolve in the weeks leading up to the event. Facile Vega, trailing Marine Nationale by three and a quarter lengths in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, has bounced back with back-to-back victories since then.

Facile Vega triumphed in the Champion Novice Hurdle and followed up with a convincing victory as the 8/15 favorite in a Beginners Chase over two miles and one furlong.

Demonstrating adeptness on soft ground, Facile Vega, trained by Willie Mullins, secured a four-length victory over Inthepocket, suggesting a preference for similar conditions at Cheltenham 2024.

As for Marine Nationale, this horse has not yet participated in chasing at the time of this writing. However, a Beginners Chase appearance is anticipated during the festive period at Leopardstown.

The six-year-old has impressively won its first five races, including a notable victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by over three lengths.

Considering his victory in last year’s Supreme Novice Hurdle, his previously unblemished record, and an impressive first jumping display in a chase, some may be willing to overlook his recent loss and see value in the now better odds.

This defeat has highlighted some concerns that were present even before the race. The decision to perform a wind operation on an undefeated top horse during the summer, followed by the use of a tongue strap on his chase debut, raises questions.

Although his performance that day was commendable, a closer examination of the form suggests that other leading contenders could have achieved similar results against a field headed by Firm Footings, who might have been competing with a handicap mark in mind.

Barry O’Connell, the trainer, cited the ground conditions as an excuse for the weekend’s performance, but it arguably wasn’t softer than the conditions during his win over Irish Point in the Royal Bond. The way he faltered before the last hurdle is particularly worrying.

With a more experienced trainer, there might be more confidence in getting him ready for March.

Given his current odds and the uncertainty about ground conditions on the day, he doesn’t seem like a sensible choice for an ante-post bet. That said, if the ground were to be good, my concerns would be significantly mitigated.

Other potential contenders like Inthepocket and Gaelic Warrior might offer value as each-way bets, considering that many horses have entries in multiple races. Horses like Mister Policeman and Blood Destiny could also perform well.