Fred Winter is recognised as one of the greatest figures in the history of National Hunt Racing both as a jockey and trainer. He died aged 77 in April 2004.
The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle run on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival commemorates his contribution to the sport.
He was champion jockey on four occasions and had 17 successes at the Cheltenham Festival as a jockey. These included two Cheltenham Gold Cups (in 1961 on Saffron Tartan and in the following year on the brave Mandarin).
We have fund youtube video of Fred Winter ( thats to tadpoletutor) in action in the 1961 Cheltenham Gold Cup and talking about his famous win on Mandarin in the Grand Steeplechase de Paris Auteuil on 17 June 1962. The Observer rated Mandarin's win the 5th greatest horserace of all time with writer Sean Magee commenting:
Sheer heroism from horse and jockey. Mandarin's bit broke early in the race, leaving Fred Winter with no brakes or steering around Auteuil's dizzying four-mile figure-of-eight circuit, but a combination of leg-power and willpower kept the partnership intact. Three fences out the exhausted Mandarin broke down in one of his forelegs, but he kept slogging on, taking the lead 100 yards out only to have the French horse Lumino launch a late challenge and grab Mandarin at the line. Verdict: Mandarin by a head. John Oaksey wrote: 'I have never seen a comparable feat, never expect to - and can only thank God I was there.'
Fred won three Champion Hurdles as a jockey in 1955 on Clair Soleil, 1959 on Fare Time, and in 1961 on Eborneezer.
He retired from the saddle at Cheltenham's spring meeting in 1964 and went on to even greater success as a trainer. He was champion trainer eight times and saddled a total of 28 Festival winners. He remains the only man to have both ridden and trained winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle. In all he landed four Champion Hurdles as a trainer (1971 and 1972 Bula, 1974 Lanzarote, 1988 Celtic Shot) and, although the quest as a trainer for the Cheltenham Gold Cup proved elusive he did finally win the race in 1978 with Midnight Court. We have video of the Bula and Midnight Court wins.
Bula 1971 Champion Hurdle
Bula 1972 Champion Hurdle
Midnight Court 1978 Cheltenham Gold Cup
We will be adding Fred Winter's Aintree Grand National wins in a seperate article. Discuss the great mans achievements and share your memnories on the Fat Jockey Horse Racing Forum.
The odds for Leading Rider at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival are tabled below: