Although not regarded as one of the major races on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, the Fred Winter Handicap is an intriguing contest for punters to get stuck into.
The race is restricted to juvenile hurdlers aged four-years-old and is used by many trainers as a race for horses that aren’t quite good enough to have run in the Triumph Hurdle.
Due to the rapid rise of accessibility within technology, punters can now watch every Cheltenham Festival race various online betting companies. Nearly all the major online bookmakers have cottoned on to live streaming, but it can be difficult to find out which firm offers the best service, especially with the Cheltenham Festival rapidly approaching.
Our advice is to take advantage of Ladbrokes streaming service via their brilliant online betting portal. Their service offers live video streaming of all Racing UK and At The Races race courses, which obviously includes all the races at the this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
To access the live streaming all punters need to do is to sign up, free of charge, to Ladbrokes via their website. Once signed up, you can access every Cheltenham race. All you need to do is bet a minimum of £1 on the Arkle market to be able to access the stream.
At Ladbrokes you are also likely to get some of the best odds around and very appealing each-way terms.
Most firms will only pay the first four past the past but in most big handicaps Ladbrokes push the boat and pay the first five.
The four-year-old division can be a tough one for ante-post punters to latch onto due to the youthful nature of the runners and their likelihood of improvement, but the 2013 season so far has seem some decent four-year-olds announce themselves on the scene.
As most of the top-class four-year-olds will be aimed at the Triumph Hurdle, finding one that is just below top-class for the Fred Winter looks the way to go from a punting perspective.
One that may end up being targeted at the Fred Winter is Irish raider South South West, who won a very good race at Gowran Park in December before just falling short behind the very impressive Blood Cotli in the Grade Two Q8 OILS Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown later in the year.
He was very well beaten that day after doing a lot of the running from the front, yet the form of that race looks one to keep an eye on as the winner, trained by Willie Mullins, is being touted as a potential Triumph Hurdle winner.
The trainer of South South West, Pat Flynn, may struggle to keep the horse’s handicap mark respectable enough to run in the Fred Winter but if he can then the 10/1 with Ladbrokes looks a nifty price.
Other horses that could have a chance in the Fred Winter, judging on early season form, are the likes of Counsel, who is from the Donald McCain yard, and Vasco Du Ronceray, who is trained by Nicky Henderson. Counsel is really well bred, being a half-brother to Group 1-placed Kissable, and ran out an impressive winner at Bangor earlier in the year.
He was a bit out of his depth in the Grade Two BetVictor.com Summit Juvenile Hurdle, where he finished fifth behind Kashmir Peak.
That form looks strong in the context for this race, therefore keeping tabs on the McCain’s runner handicap mark looks wise as the Festival approaches.
Vasco Du Ronceray, a 25/1 shot, finished in front of Counsel at Kempton and has aspirations surely of the Triumph Hurdle but Henderson is a wily old fox and won’t be afraid to enter one of his better horses in the Fred Winter off somewhere near top-weight