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The Cheltenham Festival leading trainers title is decided by a trainer’s total number of wins plus second and third places.
Formidable firepower, strength in numbers and clever targeting of races are just three of the magic ingredients thrown into the mix by master trainer Willie Mullins when attempting to secure the Cheltenham Festival trainers title.
Last year, Mullins ran away with the crown once again at the Cheltenham Festival when he shook off his closest rivals Henry de Bromhead and Gordon Elliott with a record 10 wins from 28 races.
Nicky Henderson and Venetia Williams came in 4th and 5th behind the top three. Can the British contingent get close to the top Irish trainers in 2023? We consider the main protagonists for this year’s leading trainers prize. The top five in the market with Paddy Power are as follows and all prices were correct at the time of writing this article:
Willie Mullins current odds 1-8
The Cheltenham Festival top trainers award is a major target for Willie Mullins, he targets the festival each year, separating his horses to give them the best chance of emerging victorious.
His odds to land the prize for the fifth year running are 1-8 and it looks highly likely he will achieve that feat thanks to the strength and quality of his Festival string.
Facile Vega, Lossiemouth, Allaho and Galopin Des Champs are among his favourites for the Festival and will be forming part of many punters’ accumulators. It is also typical of Mullins to spring a few big-priced winners in the handicaps.
Gordon Elliott current odds 7-1
Gordon Elliott won the Cheltenham Festival leading trainers award in 2017 and 2018 and will attempt to regain the title this year. It wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Cullentra trainer managed to claw back the title from Mullins as he has multiple strong chances.
Thursday could be a triumphant day for Elliott as he saddles favourites Delta Work, Mighty Potter, Maxxum and Teahupoo.
Nicky Henderson current odds 9-1
British trainers have struggled to secure the leading trainers title in recent years and the trainer most likely to get closest to the Irish, of the British trainers, is Nicky Henderson, who last took this accolade back in 2012.
This year Nicky Henderson saddles a few with big chances, including the mighty Constitution Hill who looks likely to take the Champion Hurdle on day one of the Festival.
Jonbon, Marie’s Rock and Luccia are among other favourites for the team at Seven Barrows.
Henry de Bromhead current odds 25-1
It has been a tough season for Henry de Bromhead but that doesn’t mean he should be discounted for this prize.
The trainer, similar to Willie Mullins is a genius when it comes to readying his horses for the Cheltenham Festival as proven in 2021 when he won the big four championship races.
Last year he took the Champion Hurdle with star mare Honeysuckle and the Gold Cup with A Plus Tard and will take a strong team over again in 2023.
Paul Nicholls current odds 33-1
Paul Nicholls is known for his competitive nature and his unrelenting will to win which never rules him out of this contest. Nicholls was last crowned Cheltenham Festival leading trainer in 2009 and the preceding three years when he dominated with a host of legends including Kauto Star and Denman.
Bravemansgame, Stage Star, Tammuras, Hermes Allen and Greanetean are among his top hopes this year.