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Fred Winter Hurdle tips for Wednesday's Grade 3 race. Always a competitive handicap, for juveniles not quite up to the class that the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle demands. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

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Paul Nicholls enjoys an excellent record in this race, with ACT OF VALOUR looking to add to that. He has already shown himself to be a smart type, rated 97 on the flat, he could have room to manoeuvre off this opening mark. A big field and strong pace are going to suit him down to the ground. Mitchouka is one of the more exposed runners, but he’s done little wrong so far and deserves to be towards the head of the market. Esprit De Somoza represents a yard in flying form and a yard who won this in 2017, he along with Nube Negra should be right in the mix.

Oxford Blu
J: Richard Johnson T: Olly Murphy
Dour stayer on the flat, he chased home a nice recruit of Dan Skelton’s last time out. Couldn’t cope with Solo Saxophone’s turn of foot previously, this stiffer track should play more to his strengths. Bit to find on his general level of form, but wouldn’t be the greatest surprise to see him thereabouts.
Solo Saxophone
J: P. Townend T: Dan Skelton
Winner of his first two starts over hurdles, Frankel fever hits the Festival. Has won on heavy, his flop last time in desperate conditions at Exeter, they shouldn’t be so bad here. Pulled his first two wins out the fire with his flat speed, will need to travel better on this occasion.
Eureu Du Boulay
J: Jonathan Burke T: Richard Hobson
A winner just once from seven starts in France, he makes his UK debut after almost four months off. Wears a first time tongue strap here, that will need to improve his form in France considerably if he is to defy this mark.
J: Daryl Jacob T: Dan Skelton
Broke his duck off the back of a wind op at Wincanton last time, beating a well regarded horse of Paul Nicholls. Ground to make up on a number of these on his previous two starts, despite now receiving weight. Needs more again pitched in at the deepest level he has been seen at.
The King Of May
J: Danny Cook T: Brian Ellison
Two and a quarter lengths behind Act Of Valour on his UK debut, he is five pounds better off for that on this occasion. His best form in France came on slightly better ground so the deep surface isn’t in his favour but the impression he gave at Musselburgh is one with a big future.
Knight Destroyer
J: Aidan Coleman T: Jonjo O'Neill
Wide margin winner at Uttoxeter in October, he has been comfortably seen off the last twice by Nube Negra. Soft ground is no issue, but this mark leaves very little room for error starting out in the handicap sphere.
Eragon De Chanay
J: Joshua Moore T: Gary Moore
The move into handicap company produced a career best at Sandown on Saturday when a wide margin winner. Deep ground is clearly no concern, nor a stiff track. Form behind We Have A Dream and Apple’s Shakira suggests he has a bit to find with the principals but his confidence should be high.
Grand Sancy
J: Sam Twiston-Davies T: Paul Nicholls
Showed plenty of promise but is still a maiden after five starts. Solid enough effort when fourth in the Adonis last time, he should do better now that he has a mark, for all that this is a tough starting point for him in handicaps.
J: Robbie Power T: Charles O'Brien, Ireland
Already six starts over hurdles, following home Mitchouka on four of them. One of many who have pushed the pace along in recent starts, though he has at least won from the back, a plus if the early fractions are too strong. Conditions will suit having won twice on heavy, but a place surely the best he can play for.
Turning Gold
J: Tom Bellamy T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Scrambled home by a nose at Haydock last time, the first time he has encountered heavy over hurdles. Had Lisp behind him on that occasion, rallying well under pressure. Boasts a great attitude but this is his stiffest task in terms of both stamina and class so needs to find a touch more.
Casa Tall
J: James Bowen T: Tom George
Dual French winner, he makes his UK debut here. Hard to judge the worth of that form compared to Irish/UK runners, though top weight of 139 certainly doesn’t look like an easy opening mark on minor French wins, despite the latest coming on heavy.
Veneer Of Charm
J: J. W. Kennedy T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Exposed as ordinary on the flat, he was a long way behind Mitchouka two starts back. Fair enough mark on his opening win, but he has less scope for progression than a lot of these which leaves him plenty to find.
J: Mr Chester Williams T: Nick Williams
Wide margin winner on UK debut, has had his limitations well exposed since. Yard are in flying form at present but appears second string on jockey bookings. Too high in the weights on what he has achieved in any case.
Act Of Valour
J: A. P. Heskin T: Paul Nicholls
Yard have an excellent record in this race. Smart run last time out against We Have A Dream at Musselburgh, a strong form line for this contest. Well treated on his flat exploits where he was rated 97, could take quite a bit of beating with soft ground no issue.
Style De Garde
J: Nico de Boinville T: Nicky Henderson
Keen goer, should be suited by a race run at a proper end to end gallop. Made a smart impression when winning at Newbury on his UK debut, hassled in front when disappointing since. Opening mark no more than fair on the form in the book, but open to better.
J: Davy Russell T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Plenty of experience over obstacles already, including in Graded company. Soft ground is no issue, with the quality of company he has kept making this interesting rather than the Triumph. Handicap mark looks fair on what he has achieved, each way chance despite being among the more exposed.
J: Tom Scudamore T: Colin Tizzard
Already picked up a couple of handicap wins this season, experience that will stand him in good stead. This is by a long way the deepest field he has contested, with the majority less exposed than him, he’ll need another jolt of progression to figure.
Esprit De Somoza
J: Lizzie Kelly T: Nick Williams
First string for the yard who won this last year. Impressive at Huntingdon when comfortably seeing off Style De Garde, he didn’t enjoy the tight confines of Taunton last time. Deep ground should be no issue, with this his target from the get go. Needs plenty of each way consideration.
J: Wayne Hutchinson T: Alan King
Steadily progressive in lesser company on tight tracks. Big field may help given the way he takes a pull, but if he gets buzzed up in the preliminaries, he has a tough task in front of him from no more than a fair opening level.
Nube Negra
J: Harry Skelton T: Dan Skelton
Flattered by his proximity to Apple’s Shakira at this track in December, a solid run for this grade nonetheless. Very deep ground would be new to him, with this mark on the high side given what he has achieved.
Brave Dancing
J: Felix de Giles T: David Cottin, France
A winner on heavy ground at Pau last month, he is a rare handicap raider from France at this meeting. Fitted with a first time tongue strap, the visual impression he made last time was one of a smart type. Interesting outsider if the market speaks in his favour.
Look My Way
J: Brian Hughes T: John Quinn
Strong stayer on the flat, he should relish this if it becomes a slog. Only a pound better off with Act Of Valour for a two length beating when they met on their respective hurdling debuts, he’ll need more to reverse that. Each way squeak just the same.
Non Runners
Les Arceaux
J: Reserve T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
American Craftsman
J: Reserve T: Jedd O'Keeffe

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