Horse Racing

2020 Cheltenham Festival: The Top 5 Trainers


Horses from the following five stables  will be the dominating factor at the four-day extravaganza next March:

  1. Willie Mullins
  2. Gordon Elliott
  3. Nicky Henderson
  4. Paul Nicholls
  5. Colin Tizzard

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins cheltenham

Top trainer at the Cheltenham festival in six of the last ten years, the Closutton maestro has won 49 races at the national hunt extravaganza during that period. That total looks sure to be extended in 2020, with the following likely to represent the Irish stable in the championship races, several of which are expected to prove strong fancies:

  • Champion Hurdle – Saldier, Klassical Dream, Sharjah
  • Champion Chase – Chacun Pour Soi, Cilaos Emery
  • Ryanair – Min, Douvan, Footpad, Un De Sceaux
  • Stayers Hurdle – Benie Des Dieux, Penhill, Bacardys
  • Gold Cup – Kemboy, Al Boum Photo

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Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott Cheltenham

Top trainer in both 2017 and 2018, on the most recent occasion with a record-equalling eight winners. The County Meath handler, together with leading owner Gigginstown House Stud, hold a strong hand in the novice races, of which the following are likely to prove popular:

  • Abacadabras (Supreme or Ballymore)
  • Andy Dufresne (Ballymore or Albert Bartlett)
  • Envois Allen (Supreme or Ballymore)
  • Battleoverdoyen (RSA)
  • Champagne Classic (National Hunt Chase)
  • Felix Desjy (Arkle)
  • Samcro (JLT)

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Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson Cheltenahm

Top festival trainer in 2000, 2010 and 2012. The master of Seven Barrows has a wealth of talent in his stable, including the great Altior. Expectations are high for the following:

  • Angels Breath (Arkle)
  • Buveur D’Air (Champion Hurdle)
  • Altior (Champion Chase, JLT or Gold Cup)
  • Champ (RSA)
  • Santini (Gold Cup)

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Paul Nicholls

Top festival trainer six times between 1999 and 2009. Doesn’t have the strength in depth of years gone by when champions such as Kauto Star, Denman and Master Minded were in the yard. Still has plenty of powerful ammunition at his disposal however, including the following:

  • Getaway Trump (Arkle)
  • Cyrname  (JLT or Gold Cup)
  • Frodon (JLT)
  • Clan Des Obeaux (Gold Cup)

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Colin Tizzard

Colin Tizzard Cheltenham

Unlikely to break his duck as top Cheltenham festival trainer but always to be respected, especially in the staying chases. Recent festival victories have come courtesy of Cue Card, Thistlecrack, Native River and Kilbricken Storm and it will be surprising if the stable fails to have at least one winner in 2020. The most likely being:

  • Elixir De Nutz (Champion Hurdle)
  • Lostintranslation (Gold Cup)
  • Master Debonair (Supreme)
  • Native River (Gold Cup)
  • Reserve Tank (JLT)
  • Thistlecrack (Stayers Hurdle)

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