Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

The Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle is named in memory of the late Frederick Thomas ‘Fred’ Winter, a hugely successful jockey and trainer who dominated National Hunt racing for 30 years between 1950 and 1980. The race is run over 2 miles and 87 yards on the Old Course at Cheltenham and is currently scheduled as the penultimate race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival in March each year.

As the name suggests, the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle is framed as a handicap or, in other words, a race in which each horse carries a weight allocated according to its ability, so that, in theory at least, each has an equal chance of winning. The race is open to juvenile novice hurdlers or, in other words, four-year-olds who, at the start of current season, have not won a hurdle race. It is a fairly recent addition to the Festival programme, having been introduced when a fourth day was added in 2005, and was upgraded to Grade 3 status four years later.

The most successful trainer in the short history of the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle is Paul Nicholls with three wins – Sanctuaire (2010), Qualando (2015) and Diego du Charmil (2016). No jockey has won the race more than once.

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