The Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle is the penultimate race on the second day (Ladies’ Day) of the Cheltenham Festival. A relatively new event, it was one of the races introduced at Cheltenham in 2005 as part of the expansion of the Festival from three days to four.
The race was named in memory of successful jockey and later equally successful trainer Fred Winter who passed away in 2004. Winter claimed an impressive record at the Cheltenham Festival throughout his career, with 17 wins as a jockey and 28 victories as a trainer. The race was initially classed as Listed, but was upgraded to a Grade 3 race in 2009.
The Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle is run on the Old Course over 3,319 metres or approximately 2 miles and 110 yards (or half a furlong). It is open to four-year-old novice hurdlers and includes eight hurdles to be cleared.
The total prize purse for this race is £75,000, with the winner taking home a share equalling £42,712.50.
So far no horse or jockey has managed to win the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle more than once. Trainer Paul Nicholls has seen victory twice with Sanctuaire in 2010 and Qualando in 2015.
|2005||Dabiroun||Nina Carberry||Paul Nolan|
|2006||Shamayoun||Paddy Brennan||Charles Egerton|
|2007||Gaspara||Andrew Glassonbury||David Pipe|
|2008||Crack Away Jack||Paul Carberry||Emma Lavelle|
|2009||Silk Affair||Tom O’Brien||Mick Quinlan|
|2010||Sanctuaire||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls|
|2011||What A Charm||Paul Townend||Arthur Moore|
|2012||Une Artiste||Jeremiah McGrath||Nicky Henderson|
|2013||Flaxen Flare||Davy Condon||Gordon Elliott|
|2014||Hawk High||Brian Hughes||Tim Easterby|
|2015||Qualando||Nick Scholfield||Paul Nicholls|
Throughout his career as a jockey Fred Winter won every big race multiple times. Two-time Grand National winner, two-times Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, three-time Champion Hurdle winner and three-time King George VI Chase winner, Fred Winter was named British jump racing Champion Jockey no fewer than four times.
He enjoyed almost as much success as a trainer, not least taking the Grand National in two consecutive years (1965 and ’66). He is the only person ever to have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, and the Grand National as both a jockey and a trainer.