ALWAYS a difficult one to call. But Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) and The Voice Of Value are looking for winners in the Fred Winter.
Cheltenham 16:40 | Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle | RUK
As usual this looks a tough race to find the winner, and at 10/1 the field the odds back me up, but a couple have caught my eye.
Arabian Revolution should be at the top end of the betting by the time they go to post and for me that's justified. The John Ferguson trained horse has won two of his three races over hurdles, but it's the race he finished second in that catches the eye the most.
That day at Ludlow he finished second to a horse called Beltor. Beltor has since gone to win one of the top races in this division at Kempton last month and is one of the favourites to win the higher-class Triumph Hurdle on Friday. That form looks rock-solid!
Arabian Revolution's other two runs were an easy eight-length win at Sandown in January and a smart win at Huntingdon last month when giving weight away to his competitors. I'll back him to win here.
My each-way money will be landing on Golden Doyen. It's fair to say this horse has been on the downturn since the end of last year. He produced his best performance of the season in November at Cheltenham when giving the highly-regarded Hargam weight and a beating.
That now looks one of the best performances in this division this season, but sadly he hasn't been able to replicate it. He finished fifth at Chepstow in December and second to another highly-regarded animal Top Notch.
Golden Doyen has been mixing it up with the best horses in this division (Hargam and Top Notch are both in the first five in the betting for the higher-class Triumph Hurdle on Friday) and it might just be that Cheltenham brings the best out of him like we saw in November. I'll back him each-way at a rather large 18/1.
Best Bets – Chris Graham
Cheltenham 16:40 – Arabian Revolution to win (9/1 BetBright)
Cheltenham 16:40 – Golden Doyen each way (18/1 BetBright)
I have picked two against the field here both of which I think have a decent each way chance.
Thunder Zone has shown some solid form over in Ireland. Gordon Elliott is a trainer I really admire and the form of his last run when he was second to Kitten Rock took a boost on Tuesday when Kitten Rock ran so well in the Champion Hurdle. With Bryan Cooper on board there is a lot to like about this one.
My other pick is Baron Alco. The form of his last race in December isn’t great but he didn’t travel well at all and might have been much closer to the winner if he had settled better into the race. He hasn’t been seen since and if the horse has developed over the last few months he could be nicely handicapped for this one at a big price.