- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 5:30 Close Brothers Novices Chase
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Queen Mthr Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Fred Winter H'Cap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 JLT Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Mares Novices Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle Tips - 4.50pm Cheltenham
2019 PREVIEW DUE by MARCH 5th-10th
One of the trickiest races over the whole four days and you only have to look at the starting prices of the winners to see that. Five out of the last six renewals have been won by horses starting at 25/1, 25/1, 33/1, 33/1 and 40/1.
Probably even more surprising is that trainers such as Nicky Henderson, Gordon Elliott and Paul Nicholls have been responsible for some of these outsiders suggesting its worth looking beyond the yards main hope at times.
Paul Nicholls has the best record by far with three winners and a host of placed horses in the last ten years and anything he saddles is worth a second look. Act Of Valour is one candidate with plenty going for him. He was a 97 rated flat horse in Ireland and has had just three starts over hurdles since joining the yard.
He opened up with a victory at Newcastle and then was pitched in at the deep end at Doncaster. He ran no sort of race that day behind We Have A Dream in a Grade 2 contest but bounced back to form last time against the same rival at Musselburgh. This time he was second beaten just over 4 lengths and form would give him a lice chance here.
Nicky Henderson is a bit thin on the ground for juveniles this season but has a squeak with his ex-French runner Style De Garde. He had already won over hurdles before coming to the UK so it was no surprise he bolted up on his British debut at Newbury. He was quite impressive that day and was made favourite for a better race at Huntingdon on the strength of it. In the actual race he led to the second last and found very little off the bridle so now has questions to answer. Maybe the quicker pace will suit here and maybe he needs time between his races.
The Gordon Elliott bandwagon keeps rolling on, he took the honours for top trainer last season and has a decent chance here with the Gigginstown owned Mitchouka. The youngster has been busy this season with seven starts over hurdles since October. He has won four of them so you would have to think the handicapper has his measure unlike quite a few of his unexposed rivals. Elliott is a master at getting horses right on the day so I wouldn’t write this one of just yet.
Nube Negra is an interesting runner and quite an unusual one in that he came from Spain to join the Skelton yard last summer. He made his debut at Market Rasen and was very impressive winning by 9 lengths. He then went to Cheltenham to take on Apple’s Shakira and lost nothing in defeat when going down by 3 ½ lengths. Last time out he went to Doncaster and regained the winning thread without much fuss and I think he’s on a fair mark for what he has achieved.
Another Skelton runner is Embole who was third to Act Of Valour on debut but failed to settle. A hood was tried next time at Huntingdon but he ran below par and connections were beginning to worry. Skelton sent him to Wincanton and this time added a tongue-tie and decided to make the running. The result was he absolutely bolted up and beat a Paul Nicholls odds-on favourite in the process. As a consequence of all the messing about he could be well handicapped although I’m not sure he will get things his own way out in front.
Trainer Alan King has a good reputation with juvenile hurdlers and has a couple of nice prospects in Lisp and Doctor Bartolo. Lisp has come off the flat and used to be with Charlie Hills and has had four starts since coming to Barbary Castle. He won two small races at Plumpton and Fontwell but was slightly disappointing at Haydock last time out.
Nick Williams won this last year with Flying Tiger and this time round has Mercenaire who has had three starts over hurdles. He won at Exeter on his debut by 25 lengths and that earned him a tilt at the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow. He was 3rd to We Have A Dream that day and a repeat of that sort of form see him go well here.
Trainer Brian Ellison is still looking for his first Festival winner and he saddles the unexposed The King Of May. He has only had two starts over hurdles and one of those was in his native France behind Apple's Shakira who is fancied for the Triumph Hurdle. He ran at Musselburgh last month and was a decent 3rd to We Have A Dream. He was only beaten 6 3/4 lengths and is sure to come on for the run.
Punters Lounge Tip: Mitchouka EW 9/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet
Fred Winter H'cap Hurdle Runners
Fred Winter H'cap Hurdle Trends
|9/10 Winners||Were either French or Irish bred|
|9/10 Winners||Not ran more than 4 times over hurdles|
|8/10 Winners||Carried less than 11st 3lbs|
|9/10 Winners||Were making thier handicap debuts|
|8/10 Winners||Had won a hurdle race before|
|9/10 Favourites||Were beaten|
|7/10 Winners||Trained in England|
|7/10 Winners||Were double figure prices (10/1 or more)|
|5/10 Winners||Rated 130 or more|
|6/10 Winners||Did not win last time out|
Fred Winter Handicap Previous Winners
|2018||Veneer Of Charm||11-00||Jack Kennedy||Gordon Elliott||33/1|
|2017||Flying Tiger||11-05||Richard Johnson||Nick Williams||33/1|
|2016||Diego du Charmil||11-01||Sam Twiston-Davies||Paul Nicholls||13/2|
|2015||Qualando||11-00||Nick Scholfield||Paul Nicholls||25/1|
|2014||Hawk High||11-01||Brian Hughes||Tim Easterby||33/1|
|2013||Flaxen Flare||10-07||Davy Condon||Gordon Elliott||25/1|
|2012||Une Artiste||10-13||Jeremiah McGrath||Nicky Henderson||40/1|
|2011||What A Charm||10-06||Paul Townend||Arthur Moore||9/1|
|2010||Sanctuaire||11-02||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls||4/1 f|
|2009||Silk Affair||10-04||Tom O'Brien||Mick Quinlan||11/1|