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Cheltenham Festival News
Tuesday 18th February 2020
Mullins Slight Favourite over Elliott for Top Trainer at 2020 Cheltenham Festival

Away from the more mainstream betting markets for the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, we find the Top Trainer award. It’s predicted to be a close contest this year too. The bookmakers make Willie Mullins slight favourite at a general 6/4 (2.50) to retain the title he won in 2019. Gordon Elliott is poised for a big challenge though, available at a top price of 9/4 (3.25). Nicky Henderson is a 4/1 (5.0) chance with Henry De Bromhead (8/1) the only other trainer quoted in single figures.

Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins

What is the Top Trainer Award?

As the name suggests, a prize is handed out to the trainer with the most winners across the Festival each year. Every race is considered equal in this regard. It doesn’t matter if you’ve trained the winner of the Gold Cup, the Cross Country Chase or the Kim Muir.

With four days of top-class jumps action, this coveted prize has been a battle between some of the biggest names in National Hunt racing across the years. Recent editions of the meeting have seen 28 races in total and the leading stables have come to the fore courtesy of a star-studded line-ups heading to Gloucestershire. With plenty of enhanced odds, extra places and special offers, it’s one of the best betting weeks of the year. Find out more about the Cheltenham Festival betting offers.

Al Boum Photo aiming at a Gold Cup double

One of Mullins’ leading hopes for the week will be Al Boum Photo in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. A somewhat left-field winner of the race last year at 12/1, the eight-year-old is a much shorter price this time around.

He’s one of four entries from the Mullins yard that also include Kemboy, who already has Punchestown Gold Cup success on his CV. Delta Work looks to be Elliott’s primary contender for the showpiece contest although we’ve seen several big price winners in recent years. Gigginstown House Stud have six representatives in the race at the time of writing, four of them who currently reside at Elliott’s stable in County Meath. They include 2018 JLT winner Shattered Love who formed part of an eight-win haul for the Irish trainer two years back.

Benie Des Dieux expected to triumph for the Mullins camp

French mare Benie Des Dieux holds entries for the Close Brothers Hurdle and the Stayers Hurdle. While her chosen target is yet to be confirmed, the nine-year-old, who is unbeaten in her last four outings, is expected to be a firm favourite for either contest. Having come through her prep race at Gowran in impressive style in January, Mullins will hope that she is the cornerstone of a tilt at the Top Trainer award in 2020.

Who has won the award in the past at the Cheltenham Festival?

In line with the 2020 betting market, the recent editions have been dominated by Mullins and Elliott. You have to go back to 2012 since any other trainer saddled the most winners at a single festival when Nicky Henderson’s stable yielded an impressive seven victories. Elliott’s eight winners in 2018 matched the Mullins haul from three years previous and hold the record for the most wins by a single trainer at one Festival.

Previous Cheltenham Festival Top Trainer Winners

Year – Winning Trainer – Number of Winners

2019 – Willie Mullins (4)
2018 – Gordon Elliott (8)
2017 – Gordon Elliott (6)
2016 – Willie Mullins (7)
2015 – Willie Mullins (8)
2014 – Willie Mullins (4)
2013 – Willie Mullins (5)
2012 – Nicky Henderson (7)
2011 – Willie Mullins (4)
2010 – Nicky Henderson (3)
2009 – Paul Nicholls (5)
2008 – Paul Nicholls (3)
2007 – Paul Nicholls (4)
2006 – Paul Nicholls (3)
2005 – Howard Johnson (3)
2004 – Paul Nicholls (4)
2003 – Jonjo O’Neill (3)
2002 – Martin Pipe (3)
2001 – Festival Cancelled
2000 – Nicky Henderson (4)
1999 – Paul Nicholls (3)
1998 – Martin Pipe (4)
1997 – Martin Pipe (4)