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Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tips - 14/1 shot could advertise Arkle credentials at Leopardstown

jon-vine
20 Jan 2024
jon-vine
Jon Vine 20 Jan 2024
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  • Our fifth ante-post tip for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival
  • We've backed Il Etait Temps at 14/1 for the 2024 Arkle
  • The 2024 Arkle Challenge Trophy will be run at Cheltenham on Tuesday 12th March
il etait
Danny Mullins riding Il Etait Temps clear the last to win The Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown. (Getty)

With the Dublin Racing Festival looming large on the horizon, we've highlighted a tempting ante-post bet for the first Grade One chase at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival. Here's our latest ante-post Cheltenham tips.

2024 Arkle Challenge Trophy Tips - Il Etait Temps


Marine Nationale got my Cheltenham Festival off to the perfect start in 2023. I tipped and backed Barry Connell's star to win the Supreme at 5/1 and Marine Nationale duly obliged, sprinting clear after the last to win handsomely.

This year, Marine Nationale looks set to carry an odds-on price into the Arkle Challenge Trophy, after Michael O'Sullivan's mount won nicely on his chasing debut at Leopardstown. Facile Vega's no-show at the same meeting has certainly been factored into that price, but odds of 8/11 on the back of a solitary beginners' chase are quite absurd.

While I remain an admirer of Marine Nationale, there has to be some value in the market behind the market leader and I'm keen to back IL ETAIT TEMPS (14/1) for the Arkle before the two meet at the Dublin Racing Festival.

A superb Grade One win at Leopardstown in February helped Il Etait Temps end his second season over hurdles with a rating of 155, just three pounds short of Marine Nationale. Willie Mullins' grey does have nine lengths to find on Marine Nationale from their clash in the Supreme, but Danny Mullins' mount didn't jump well in the Festival opener last season and was posted wide during the crucial final mile of the contest.

On his chasing debut over 18 furlongs at Thurles, Il Etait Temps jumped well and strode five lengths clear of some decent rivals after the final flight. Mullins' star then finished second to Gaelic Warrior in the Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick - a Grade One that was overshadowed by the clash between Patrick and Danny Mullins after the line.

Danny attempted to sneak through on Gaelic Warrior's inside on the run to the second-last flight. The favourite, as is his want, jumped right across Il Etait Temps' path, causing Danny's mount to stumble on landing and lose plenty of momentum. Had that altercation not happened, then El Etait Temps could have pushed Gaelic Warrior in the closing stages of that Grade One and I doubt the winning margin would have been as wide as it was.

Il Etait Temps relished decent ground at Leopardstown during the last Dublin Racing Festival, and I'm hopeful that he can serve it up to Marine Nationale in two week's time. If that were to happen, then Il Etait Temps would surely be cut into a single-figure price for the Arkle - a race that, on his form over both hurdles and fences, he should have a good chance of winning.

2024 Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Tips


Name
Race
Price Taken
Firefox2024 Supreme Novices' Hurdle10/1
Sir Gerhard2024 Stayers' Hurdle20/1
Fact To File2024 Turners' Novices' Chase14/1
Banbridge2024 Ryanair Chase12/1
Il Etait Temps2024 Arkle Challenge Trophy14/1

Verdict

With Facile Vega now likely to step up in trip, Il Etait Temps could end up being Willie Mullins' number one runner in the Arkle Challenge Trophy. A Grade One winner over hurdles, I've seen no evidence to suggest that he won't be just as good over fences. If Il Etait Temps gives Marine Nationale a race at the Dublin Racing Festival, then 14/1 won't last for long.

Best Bet1: Il Etait Temps 2024 Arkle Ante-Post Tip @14/1 at Betgoodwin - 10 Units
Il Etait Temps
2024 Arkle Ante-Post Tip
@14/1 - 10 Units
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