Cheltenham Festival 2015: Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle preview (16:40)
Arabian Revolution has some strong form to his name and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to land the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (16.40).
Trained by John Ferguson, this gelding was a useful sort of the flat has won two of his three starts over the obstacles.
The four-year-old’s sole defeat came at Ludlow when runner-up to Beltor, but that form has an ultra-strong look to it.
Arabian Revolution made a mistake to from home but was still in the lead at the last until being unable to find any extra on the run-in to go down by 2 1/2 lengths.
The winner has gone on to land a Grade 2 contest at Kempton in terrific style, and is now rated 145 and strongly fancied for the Triumph Hurdle later in the week, and that makes Arabian Revoltion’s current mark of 137 look very exploitable.
Indeed, the son of Dalakhani is due to go up to 142 in future races so he is 5lb “well-in” at the weights.
That gives Arabian Revolution major claims from a handicapping perspective, and another plus is that he has the services of Barry Geraghty. who rides the track as good as anyone.
Irish trainer Gordon Elliot saddled Flaxen Flare to win this Festival contest in 2013 and has two interesting contenders in Hostile Fire and Thunder Zone.
Hostile Fire carries the same colours as Flaxen Flare and, after finishing runner-up in his first two starts scored in good style by three lengths at Fairyhouse when last seen in action.
That form is nothing special and an opening mark of 136 does not look generous and, at the odds on offer, stable companion Thunder Zone could well be the each-way value.
The gelding scored by three lengths on his hurdles debut at Fairyhouse and has since run well in three subsequent outings.
In the last of those Thunder Zone chased home the highly progressive Kitten Rock at Gowran Park, and today’s quicker ground should suit the son of Shamardal.