Fred Winter Hurdle Trends

Cheltenham Tips - The Festival

A race for the juveniles, the Fred Winter is a handicap hurdle raced over the two mile distance at the Cheltenham Festival. A Grade 3 contest, it’s a race restricted to four year olds and has thrown up some useful types over the years including last years winner Flying Tiger. As always with the tricky handicaps, there are trends we can follow to help find the winner and we’ve found the key ones for you below. For a different view, our Fred Winter tips are also on site and ready to view now.

Fred Winter Trends

  • Rated to win – Out of thirteen renewals, twelve winning horses were rated between 124 and 134
  • Fit as a fiddle – Ten of the thirteen winners had run in the twenty-five days prior to the Festival
  • Look across the channel – Eight winners of the contest were French bred horses
  • Saving it for when it matters – None of the thirteen winners had won more than one race that season prior to winning this contest
  • The Ditcheat factor – Nicholls has won three renewals of the race, the only trainer to win it more than once

Act Of Valour ❌❌❌✅✅

Nube Negra ❌❌✅❌❌

Oistrakh Le Noir ✅❌❌✅❌

Style De Garde ❌❌✅✅❌

Mitchouka ❌✅❌❌❌

Malaya ❌✅❌✅✅

Esprit De Somoza ❌✅✅✅❌

From the top of the market, perhaps the most interesting contender from a trends perspective is Esprit De Somoza for last year’s winning trainer Nick Williams. A french bred, he has won once this season and the form of that race has worked out well. He’s tuned up thanks to a preparation run at Taunton last month and shouldn’t be far away.

Trends Analysis

This is a race that Paul Nicholls has farmed in recent seasons and his Act Of Valour is currently the antepost favourite. Previously a flat horse in Ireland, he won his hurdling debut in taking style and he wasn’t beaten far in Listed company at Musselburgh last month. He does lack a run in the previous twenty-five days, but he holds some of the best form on show and should have far more to offer off this potentially lenient mark. With plenty of the market leaders not conforming to the trends this year, it could be a trend breaking year and this son of Harbour Watch has leading claims. Nicholls has another good chance with the filly Malaya, whose sole British victory remains a Listed win at Wetherby in November. She is tuned up from a run a Kempton behind Redicean two weeks ago where she was a long way clear of the remainder, which is certainly positive. She wouldn’t want the ground too soft, but she holds each way claims with the allowances in mind.

Although he only fits one trend, that being he’s a French bred, Nube Negra on the face of his form does have a solid chance for the Skeltons. Three times a runner over timber, he’s won on two occasions and has been quietly progressive. His latest novices’ success was certainly facile, but he did in good style and showed a smart turn of foot to burst clear late on. A race of this nature requires more undoubtedly, but he’s not been handicapped out of the equation and shouldn’t be dismissed off a manageable weight.

Costing 120,000 Euros at the November Sales, Oistrakh Le Noir has created quite the impression for Ben Pauling in two runs. He improved on a useful debut to win as he pleased at Market Rasen last month, making all in ready fashion. The form of that race is up for debate but he went off the front end easily, showing a nice turn of foot to quicken clear effortlessly after setting a fair gallop. Looking at handicap ratings, a mark of 124 looks lenient as he should have more to offer with further racing. The big question mark for him will be how will he cope if the ground has ‘good’ in the description, but he shouldn’t be discounted on that basis alone.

Nicky Henderson’s sole success in this contest came with 40/1 winner Une Artiste, though if Style De Garde provides him with a second it won’t be at such mammoth odds. A winner in France, he created a good impression on British debut with a ready success against some useful opponents with prior hurdling experience. He was perhaps a shade disappointing at Huntington last time when only fourth, though leading at a strong pace that day wouldn’t have necessarily suited. He does need to settle better, but he’s surely capable of better than that run and a strong pace on the day should help him settle better. He will however have to turn the tables on Esprit De Somoza, who improved on a mediocre debut when scoring at Huntingdon two starts ago. He may be slightly flattered by that run and he was a shade below par at Taunton last time, but that didn’t look to be his true running. He still retains plenty of potential for last year’s winning trainer and with Flying Tiger arriving twelve months ago off a below par effort, he is still very dangerous to dismiss.

With just a few days to go until we hear the famous Cheltenham roar, you can view all our antepost previews and tips on our Cheltenham Festival tips section now!

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