The 2023 Cheltenham Festival is almost here and, as usual, there is plenty of speculation over who will be crowned top trainer this year.
Read on to see who the top trainers are currently, and who holds the current records at the home of jump racing…
Top Trainer Odds
|Henry De Bromhead
The trainer who has dominated the last four Cheltenham Festivals, Willie Mullins will be looking to make it another successful year when he brings his first class team to Gloucestershire.
Mullins has unrivalled resources in his arsenal and that could be enough to secure him another leading trainer award this year, a title that would be a historic fifth in a row. Facile Vega, Il Etait Temps and Galopin Des Champs lead the way for Mullins and his hopes of glory at Cheltenham again this year.
2017 and 2018 were highlight years for Elliott, with the trains claiming the most winners in consecutive years. Whilst the horses at his disposal might not be favourites in many races, he still has some big names ready to line up for him. Big things are expected of Galvin, Minella Crooner and Pied Piper and Friday could be a key day for Elliott as he chases wins.
Henry De Bromhead
2021 saw De Bromhead become the first trainer to claim the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in a single year, and he was pipped to the Top Trainer award in the final race of the Festival. Whilst it may be a struggle for him to eclipse a standout year like 2021, there will be an air of expectation for De Bromhead to be challenging for the biggest races again.
Britain’s best hope of regaining some glory this year, Henderson has previously won the Top Trainer award on nine occasions. It’s been 10 years since he last picked up the award but there is some hope for Henderson in 2023, with Shishkin, Champ and Constitution Hill all standing a decent chance of all picking up wins.
The glory days of Kauto Star and Denman are behind Nicholls and, with a smaller team than ever at the Festival this year, the chances of a return to the top appear to be minute for the Englishman. Bravemansgame is Nicholls best chance of a winner, whilst Politologue could roll back the years with another Cheltenham win.
Leading Trainer Awards History
There are plenty of awards given out during the Cheltenham Festival, and one of the most prestigious is the Leading Trainer Award.
Mullins has dominated this award in recent years, winning four in a row from 2013-2016 and repeating the feat between 2019-2022. Last year proved to be his most successful yet, with the Irishman having 10 winners across the festival, a Cheltenham record.
Elliott won the award in 2017 and 2018, the other man who has dominated the biggest week of jump racing over the past decade.
It’s Mullins and Henderson who have been the most successful trainers of the last 25 years though, each claiming the award nine times.
Previous Leading Trainer Award Winners
|Number of Winners
It should come as no surprise that Mullins is the favourite to become top trainer again this year.
He is 1/8 favourite to be crowned top trainer at the meeting for the tenth time and for the fifth season in succession. He has so much talent at his disposal, it’s hard to argue with that price.
However, last season it took until the final race of the festival for Mullins to secure the award, with De Bromhead pushing him all the way throughout the festival. Ultimately, Mullins was able to retain the title and become a nine time winner of the award.