Cheltenham Tips: Ruby Walsh’s 14/1 each-way fancy for the Arkle Chase non runner money back

Ruby reckons Henry De Bromhead's Quilixios could be an each-way pick in Paddy's non runner money back market rather than the likely odds-on favourite Marine Nationale.

Ruby Walsh’s Arkle Chase Picks

Marine Nationale
Quilixios (each-way)

    9/1
    Quilixios Arkle Chase (Non Runner Money Back)
      9/4
      Marine Nationale Arkle Chase (Non Runner Money Back)

          In the fourth of this year’s Paddy Power Media’s ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ podcast Cheltenham Countdown’, host Tom Nugent together with former champion jockey turned tv pundit Ruby Walsh and well-known journalist and broadcaster Rory Delargy, look at the Arkle on day one of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival.

                RUBY WALSH

                You’d like your runner to have some experience of jumping over fences at speed, but whatever way you look at it, providing he wins this weekend at the Dublin Racing Festival, Marine Nationale is going to go to the Festival with two runs. He’s not going to have a third run. Would it put me off him? Well if he wins on Saturday, no it wouldn’t.

                He was very good in last year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle and I thought he was really good in Leopardstown on his debut over fences, there was a lot to like about him. He made the running too which I wouldn’t have said is what I expected and he kept it very, very simple. I like the way he jumped, he attacked his fences and when he was meeting them short and had to adjust his stride, you could see he was looking and watching what he was doing.

                He moved his feet really quickly on the take-off sides and he had power when Michael O’Sullivan wanted him to stand back. So it’s very hard to knock him and this weekend will tell a lot. He’s hard to oppose.

                    If you’re looking possibly at Gaelic Warrior looking like his biggest danger, but we know he’s better going right-handed. That’s not to say he won’t cope maybe with going left-handed at Cheltenham, but if Gaelic Warrior did drop back in trip – and I’m not suggesting that he will – whether he’d beaten or taken on Marine Nationale at Leopardstown over 2m 1f on a stiff track with only two fences in the last five furlongs for you to jump right at, at Cheltenham it’s different again. It’s 1m 7f and off that home turn you go right at the second last and right again at the last. I’d find it very hard to oppose the favourite.

                    Looking outside the favourite for some value, I thought there was a lot to like about Quilixios at Naas. If you’re looking for something against Marine Nationale, he might be the one I’d be siding with for value. Marine Nationale looks rock solid though and he’s a very good horse.

                    The weather is the biggest danger to Marine Nationale – if it got really testing, I’m not sure that he’s quite as exceptional a horse on really deep ground. So a deluge is the biggest danger to him.

                          Willie Mullins has Facile Vega but he’s got a lot to prove – he’s got to step back up. He’s going to run at the weekend at the Dublin Racing Festival – whether he’ll run 2m or 2m 5f, I don’t know. He’s been in work all season and has plenty of work done. There would be a strong difference of opinion about Facile Vega (about what may be his best trip) among some quarters in Closutton. Everyone has their own opinion, but there’s only one opinion that counts!

                          It will be interesting to see what they do with him. I suppose pedigree-wise, to me it’s starting to look like he’s more his dam’s pedigree (stamina), but I think most pedigrees are. People are so quick to look at stallions’ pedigree, purely for fashionable reasons. It’s what’s on the dam’s side that’s most important. Facile Vega’s not out of a two miler so maybe he’ll step up in trip and that’ll be the making of him.

                                      Ruby Walsh’s Arkle Chase Picks

                                      Marine Nationale
                                      Quilixios (each-way)

                                        9/1
                                        Quilixios Arkle Chase (Non Runner Money Back)
                                          9/4
                                          Marine Nationale Arkle Chase (Non Runner Money Back)

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