Cheltenham Festival: Who will be the top trainer in 2022?

Will Willie Mullins retain his award from last year?

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

It’s almost time. The Cheltenham Festival 2022 begins on Tuesday, March 15 and we’ve got four quality days of racing to enjoy before the curtain comes down on Friday, March 18.

Punters will be desperate to make a bit of extra cash by backing winners next week but Paddy Power is also offering a top trainer market.

Willie Mullins won the title last year thanks to countback after finishing level on six winners with Henry de Bromhead.

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins took home the award after the Cheltenham Festival 2021 thanks to Galopin Des Champs winning the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. Mullins had six winners over the four days and he’s had a total of 78 Cheltenham victories.

The Irishman is the odds-on favourite to retain his title and he has the likes of Sir Gerhard, Galopin Des Champs, Energumene, Facile Vega, Allaho, Vauban and Al Boum Photo. You can also chuck Dysart Dynamo, Appreciate It, Blue Lord and Stattler into the mix.

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Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott, who has 32 Cheltenham winners, has been in fine form in recent weeks leading up to the Festival 2022. His most notable runner is Tiger Roll, who has won five times at Cheltenham. He’s won the Triumph Hurdle, the National Hunt Chase and three Cross Country Chases. Don’t forget his two Grand National wins too.

While it may need a big effort for Tiger Roll to win at Cheltenham again, Elliott still has numerous top-quality horses to call upon.

Party Central, Pied Piper, Fil Dor, Galvin, Riviere D’etel, Teahupoo, Run Wild Fred, American Mike and Ginto all offer serious chances for the Elliott stable.

Henry de Bromhead

Henry de Bromhead trained his first Cheltenham winner in 2010 and he went on to win the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Gold Cup in 2021 with Honeysuckle, Put The Kettle On and Minella Indo respectively. He finished level on six winners with Willie Mullins last year, with De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore, who was the top jockey, striking up a superb partnership.

De Bromhead has also had other top runners over the years including Sizing Europe and Special Tiara.

Honeysuckle is his biggest draw at Cheltenham, with the unbeaten eight-year-old ready to retain her Champion Hurdle crown – and she’s odds-on to do so.

However, De Bromhead doesn’t just have Honeysuckle. The Irishman also has hopes in A Plus Tard, Minella Indo, Telmesomethinggirl, Bob Olinger.

Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson has been training horses since the 70s and he’s had a total of 70 Cheltenham winners. He boasts two Gold Cup winners in Long Run and Bobs Worth. That’s without getting into detail about his former serial winner Sprinter Sacre.

All eyes will be on Henderson’s Shishkin when he re-opposes Willie Mullins’ Energumene in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The pair faced off in a thrilling showdown in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January, with Shishkin winning by a length. Plenty of punters will have Shishkin in their accumulators.

Henderson will also square off stablemates Constitution Hill and Jonbon in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, with the pair at the top of the betting.

Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls’ stable took a severe dip in form earlier this year, however, they’ve bounced back in recent weeks – just in time for the big one.

Nicholls has trained numerous serial winners, including Kauto Star and Denman, and he’s had a total of 46 Cheltenham victories. He’s won the Gold Cup, the Champion Chase, the Stayers’ Hurdle, the Champion Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase.

He has the likes of Threeunderthrufive, Bravemansgame and Saint Calvados to call upon for the 2022 Festival so can Nicholls hit form at the perfect time and be named the top trainer?

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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