WITH the Cheltenham Festival looming so close, I have to break the usual rule of keeping the Irish racing at arm’s length in this review of the past week, and there was no race over the past seven days which caused quite as much reshuffling of markets than the Irish Arkle won by Il Etait Temps. I feel the need to try to make sense of what happened, particularly in regard to the shock defeat of Marine Nationale.

The dilemma for punters after Marine Nationale blotted his perfect record in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown is whether to retain the faith in the absence of an outstanding candidate, or to banish him to the list of horses to avoid next month.