Cheltenham Festival Best Trainers

Updated: 5744 Horse Racing

Which trainers have performed best over the past ten years at the Cheltenham Festival? We will have a look at the top performers in here based on wins and also in the place market.

Cheltenham Festival Best Trainers
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

Best Trainers at the Cheltenham Festival

Straight off the bat, here are the top five performing trainers at the Cheltenham Festival over the past ten years:

  • Willie Mullins with 70 winners
  • Gordon Elliott with 36 winners
  • Nicky Henderson with 22 winners
  • Henry De Bromhead with 20 winners
  • Paul Nicholls with 15 winners

Carry on reading as we are going to have a look at the trainer records at the Cheltenham Festival over the past ten years.

Who has performed well? which ones are best avoided? Are there certain angles to approach each trainer?

We will look at both trainer records in the Win market and also the Place markets which sometimes offer great value.

Remember to check out our Cheltenham Festival tips from our racing tipsters to see if they are backing the highlighted trainers.

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Top Ten Cheltenham Festival Trainers by Wins

TrainerR-W-PWinEW
W P Mullins606-70-183-158.68-154.75
Gordon Elliott349-36-116+54.65+39.41
Nicky Henderson283-22-78-125.17-77.41
Henry De Bromhead185-20-53+2.03-12.73
Paul Nicholls210-15-39+5.50-37.07
Dan Skelton127-10-28+17.50-0.03
Gavin Cromwell36-6-11+20.63+6.61
Joseph Patrick OBrien83-4-18-49.50-28.91
David Pipe81-4-14-43.50-37.41
Ben Pauling60-4-12+8.00+2.08

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins has notched up an incredible seventy winners over the past ten years with over an additional one hundred placed runners.

Between 2009 and 2014 the most he recorded was five wins but he had 8 in 2015 followed by 7, 6 & 7 and then despite only 4 winners in 2019, he was back to his best in 2020 with 7 winners, then 6 winners in both 2021 & 2023 and 9 winners in 2024.

However, it was in 2022 when Willie Mullins did write his name in festival history when he notched up a total of ten winners, that was over 23 races which means his runners won 43% of the races they were entered in!

He showed a combined LSP of +42.03 between 2017 & 2019 after showing profits in each of those three festivals, however, he has shown a loss in each of the last five festivals now including a combined LSP of -99.98 for 2023 & 2024.

Non-Handicap Novices Chases produced his best strike rate since 2015 with 21% (15-73) with 38% of the race won that he had an entry so look out for his runners in the Arkle and the Challenge Cup on Tuesday, the RSA on Wednesday and the Marsh Novices Chase on Thursday.

One which has not been successful is Handicap Chases which he is 0-27 for over the past ten years although he had both Dinoblue and Mr Incredible place in 2023.

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Gordon Elliott

Gordon Elliott has now notched up thirty-six winners over the past ten years with an additional eighty placings and is now second on the ten-year trainer list behind Mullins.

He had six winners in 2017 and an incredible year in 2018 when notching up eight winners but he only managed three winners in 2019. He was back in business in 2020 when he banged in 7 winners meaning he had 24 winners between 2017-2020.

After being suspended in 2021 and not able to enter any runners, his return has been rather quiet with just two winners in 2022, three winners in 2023 and then three again in 2024.

He has won 18% of Non-Handicap races where he has a runner entered and shows an LSP of +41.15 whilst he also shows a profit in handicaps with an LSP of +7.81 with him winning 20% of the handicaps that he has a runner in.

Twenty-three of his winners have come in fields of 16+ runners so do not be put off by his runners in large fields.

For his three hundred and forty-nine runners at the Cheltenham Festival over the past ten years, he shows an LSP of +54.65 or +152.11 to Betfair SP!

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Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson is still third on the list and the best of the Brits, he is some forty-eight winners behind Mullins and fourteen behind Elliot.

Henderson had his best festival since 2013 in 2019 when he hit four winners and showed a healthy LSP (+27.36), he hit four again in 2020 but has since only managed two in both 2021 & 2022.

In 2023 Henderson recorded his worst festival since 2014 with just one winner which was the mighty impressive Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle but the other twenty runners were all losers.

He topped that in 2024 when he had his first blank at the festival since he went 0-20 in 2008, he ended 2024 with 0-16 although it was well documented that he had issues within his yard with plenty of unwell horses.

Henderson's winners tend to come in the higher class races with eighteen of those winners coming in Grade 1 races. He does have a poor record in Grade 2 races though with no wins from nineteen and only three of those placing.

Like Mullins, he struggles in Handicap Chases with just one winner from forty-six sent out although did win the Ultima in 2019 with Beware The Bear.

One to keep an eye out for is his entry in races over 2m, so we are looking at the Arkle and Champion Chase, his record is 5-11 (45%). His favourites usually do well too with 48% of outright favourites going on to win (10-21).

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Top Cheltenham Festival Trainers

Here are the best Cheltenham Festival trainers since 2005 and a graph to show how they have progressed with each year:

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Trainers with Poor Cheltenham Festival Records

We will start with Gary Moore! In the last ten festivals, Charlie has sent out a total of 50 runners which has returned 0 wins and just 5 placings.

Another trainer who you would expect better from is Charlie Longsdon who is 0-38 with only one of his runners hitting the frame.

Five trainers have sent twenty or more runners to the festival over the past ten years without success, the two already mentioned and then the following.

Fergal O'Brien has gone 0-47 with just six of those placing, Olly Murphy has gone 0-22 with only two placings and Dr Richard Newland hasn't had a single place from his 0-21 record.

Tom George does not have a great record, 53 runners have resulted in just 1 winner whilst Neil Mulholland has sent out 44 for just 1 winner too.

Two others you would expect better from are Alan King (2-105) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (2-121) who both have a strike rate of about 2%!

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Top Ten Cheltenham Festival Trainers in Handicaps

Gordon Elliott leads the way in handicaps with fifteen winners showing a return of +13.50 or had you backed them on the Betfair Exchange at SP, that profit would have been +48.96.

Mullins has notched up eight whilst Nicholls has had seven handicap winners over the past ten years but all from a large number of runners.

Dan Skelton who is becoming a bit of a Handicap Master is now fourth on the list with seven winners and shows an LSP of +36.50.

Nick Williams and Kim Bailey runners are worth a look, both have had three winners from just 18/19 runners and show profits of +27.50 and +27.00.

Keep an eye on the main horse racing tips page to see if the OLBG racing tipsters are backing any of these trainers in the build-up to the festival, are any of them hitting form at the right time?

TrainerR-W-PWinEW
Gordon Elliott192-15-50+13.50+26.55
W P Mullins152-8-31-43.75-30.94
Paul Nicholls110-7-20+12.00-2.59
Dan Skelton84-7-19+36.50+16.72
Nicky Henderson130-4-27-74.00-33.34
Joseph Patrick OBrien47-4-11-13.50-6.16
David Pipe52-3-10-20.00-14.16
Kim Bailey19-3-6+27.00+16.62
Nick Williams18-3-5+27.50+15.38
Henry De Bromhead63-2-11-34.00-26.07

Schedule for Tuesday at the Cheltenham Festival

Prepare for the ROAR of the Cheltenham Festival on the opening day when the tape goes up for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the feature on Tuesday is the Champion Hurdle.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Supreme Novices Hurdle
Slade Steel (IRE)
6yo - 7/2
Henry De Bromhead
Rachael Blackmore
14:10 Cheltenham
Arkle Challenge Trophy
Gaelic Warrior (GER)
6yo - 2/1
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:50 Cheltenham
Ultima Handicap Chase
Chianti Classico (IRE)
7yo - 6/1
Kim Bailey
David Bass
15:30 Cheltenham
Champion Hurdle
State Man (FR)
7yo - 2/5
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:10 Cheltenham
Close Brothers Mares Hurdle
Lossiemouth (FR)
5yo - 8/13
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:50 Cheltenham
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Lark In The Mornin (GER)
4yo - 9/1
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
J J Slevin
17:30 Cheltenham
National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
Corbetts Cross (IRE)
7yo - 15/8
Emmet Mullins
Mr Derek O'Connor

Schedule for Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival

The dust has settled on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival and now on to day two. The feature on the second day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase. We also have the cross country scheduled on Wednesday, a race like Marmite, some love it and some don't!

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Baring Bingham Novices Hurdle
Ballyburn (IRE)
6yo - 1/2
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:10 Cheltenham
Brown Advisory Novices Chase
Fact To File (FR)
7yo - 8/13
W P Mullins
Mark Walsh
14:50 Cheltenham
Coral Cup
Langer Dan (IRE)
8yo - 13/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
15:30 Cheltenham
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Captain Guinness (IRE)
9yo - 17/2
Henry De Bromhead
Rachael Blackmore
16:10 Cheltenham
Cross Country Chase
Delta Work (FR)
10yo - 11/10
Gordon Elliott
Keith Donoghue
16:50 Cheltenham
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual
Unexpected Party (FR)
9yo - 12/1
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
17:30 Cheltenham
Champion Bumper
Jasmin De Vaux (FR)
5yo - 9/2
W P Mullins
Mr P W Mullins

Schedule for Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival

Halfway through the festival and onto day three where the Stayers Hurdle is the feature race. A hurdle race to test the stamina and see how can last best up the Cheltenham hill.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Turners Novices Chase
Grey Dawning (IRE)
7yo - 5/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
14:10 Cheltenham
Pertemps Network Final
Monmiral (FR)
7yo - 25/1
Paul Nicholls
Harry Cobden
14:50 Cheltenham
Ryanair Chase
Protektorat (FR)
9yo - 17/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
15:30 Cheltenham
Stayers Hurdle
Teahupoo (FR)
7yo - 5/4
Gordon Elliott
Jack Kennedy
16:10 Cheltenham
Festival Plate
Shakem UpArry (IRE)
10yo - 8/1
Ben Pauling
Ben Jones
16:50 Cheltenham
Mares Novices Hurdle
Golden Ace (GB)
6yo - 10/1
Jeremy Scott
Lorcan Williams
17:30 Cheltenham
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Inothewayurthinkin (IRE)
6yo - 13/8
Gavin Cromwell
Mr Derek O'Connor

Schedule for Friday at the Cheltenham Festival

The final day of the festival and feature race that we have all been waiting for, the Cheltenham Gold Cup in which the Irish have been fairly dominant in recent years.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Triumph Hurdle
Majborough (FR)
4yo - 6/1
W P Mullins
Mark Walsh
14:10 Cheltenham
County Handicap Hurdle
Absurde (FR)
6yo - 12/1
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:50 Cheltenham
Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
Stellar Story (IRE)
7yo - 33/1
Gordon Elliott
Sam Ewing
15:30 Cheltenham
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Galopin Des Champs (FR)
8yo - 10/11
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:10 Cheltenham
Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
Sine Nomine (GB)
8yo - 8/1
Fiona Needham
Mr John Dawson
16:50 Cheltenham
Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase
Limerick Lace (IRE)
7yo - 3/1
Gavin Cromwell
Keith Donoghue
17:30 Cheltenham
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Better Days Ahead (IRE)
6yo - 5/1
Gordon Elliott
Danny Gilligan

Article Contributor Information

We are blessed with an excellent team of specialists and experts at OLBG. Contributing to creating and maintaining this Best Trainers at the Cheltenham Festival are at hand, Andy and James. They both work on the Horse racing tips team team looking after the tipsters and managing the tips settlement, whilst also creating and managing all of the horse racing event previews for National Hunt Racing.

James Banting

James Banting

Tipster competition assistant

James Banting, a passionate horse racing enthusiast and aficionado, brings a wealth of experience to OLBG, having attended numerous race meetings over the years. His background working with the Jockey Club provides him with a unique insider's perspective on the industry.
Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy, a seasoned horse racing expert with over 15 years of experience, possesses a comprehensive understanding of the sport, from delving into complex statistical data for jump racing in the UK and Ireland to crafting insightful national hunt racing blogs for OLBG.

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