Cheltenham Festival Trainer Stats

Andy Newton gives you all the trainer stats that matter ahead of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival........



WILLIE MULLINS: Is the bookmaker’s clear favourite to retain his trainers’ title at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival and with horses like Hurricane Fly, Quevega, Scotsirish and Boston Bob all heading to Prestbury Park with ‘banker status’ pinned to them then it’s easy to see why. Add in a team of around 30 then the Irish Champion trainer will be represented in most races, while his runners are always popular in the bumper – a race he’s won six times since 1996. That said, despite his good record in that contest it’s worth pointing out he’s now only 1 winner from his last 24 runners in the race. They do better with their hurdlers, with 10 of their 13 winners at the track in recent years coming over the smaller obstacles, while with only 2 chase wins then it could pay to think twice about backing any of theirs over fences.

Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 13 from 96 (14%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 2 from 28 (7%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 10 from 49 (20%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 1 from 19 (5%)

Key Horses: Hurricane Fly (Champion Hurdle), Quevega (Mares’ Hurdle), Scotsirish (Cross Country) & Boston Bob (Neptune or Albert Bartlett)

Key Races:
David Nicholson Mares’ Only Hurdle – Won in 2009, 2010 & 2011
Neptune Investment Hurdle – Won in 2008 & 2009
Champion Bumper – 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005 & 2008
County Hurdle – Won in 2010 & 2011


PAUL NICHOLLS: Has been the festivals top handler six times before, and although he’s second favourite in the betting many feel he will struggle this year to add a seventh title. Yes, the Dicheat team will have plenty of ammo to go to war with, but they only really have Big Buck’s as banker material in the World Hurdle – and Oscar Whisky might have something to say about that! That said, Al Ferof’s task against Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle has been made easier with Peddlers Cross now missing the race in favour of the Jewson Novices’ Chase, while the unbeaten Zarkandar could lower the Hurricane Fly colours in the Champion Hurdle. Kauto Star should still line up for the Gold Cup, but even if he does all the pre-race doubts will make it a tough ask for him to land the race for a third time.


Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 65 from 425 (15%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 30 from 230 (13%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 32 from 182 (18%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 3 from 13 (23%)

Key Horses: Big Buck’s (World Hurdle), Pearl Swan (Triumph), Cristal Bonus (Jewson Novices), Ted Spread (Fred Winter/Martin Pipe ), Ulck Du Lin (Fred Winter), Join Together (RSA Chase), Harry the Viking (NH Chase), Rocky Creek (Albert Bartlett), Al Ferof (Arkle), Kauto Star (Gold Cup)

Key Races:
Champion Hurdle - Nicholls has never won the race
RSA Chase – Won in 2006 & 2007
Champion Chase – Won in 1999, 2004, 2008 & 2009
Ryanair Chase – Won in 2005 & 2008
World Hurdle – Won in 2009, 2010 & 2011
Triumph Hurdle – Won in 2008 & 2011
County Hurdle – Won in 2004, 2006 & 2009
Gold Cup – Won in 1999, 2007, 2008 & 2009
Foxhunters – Won in 2004 & 2005
Grand Annual – Won in 2004 & 2007


NICKY HENDERSON: Another that will be popular in the betting to win the top trainer honours – especially with Sprinter Sacre and Long Run in his care. They’ve been in top form for most of the season now too and have already sent out over 135 winners this term – they need less than 20 to make this their best-ever winning season. They will be hoping Darlan can get them off to the perfect start in the opening race – the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, while their 2010 Champion Hurdler, Binocular, will be hoping to regain his crown when he takes on Hurricane Fly an hour or so later. Add in other leading first day fancies like Quantitativeeasing and Triolo D’Alene then the Seven Barrows team are in a decent position to get their festival off to a flying start. Yes, Long Run won Henderson’s first Gold Cup 12 months ago, but if there is one slightly alarming stat it’s that the yard are only 9 from 110 runners over fences at Cheltenham in the last 5 seasons.


Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 44 from 310 (14%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 9 from 110 (8%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 31 from 179 (17%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 4 from 21 (19%)

Key Horses: Sprinter Sacre (Arkle), Long Run (Gold Cup), Quantitativeeasing (JLT Chase), Darlan (Supreme Novices’), Simonsig (Neptune/Albert Bartlett), Binocular (Champion Hurdle), Triolo D’Alene (Pulteney Land Investment Chase), Bobs Worth (RSA), Finian’s Rainbow (Champion Chase), Solix (Jewson Novices’ Chase), Riverside Theatre (Ryanair), Oscar Whisky (World Hurdle), Burton Port (Gold Cup)

Key Races:
Champion Hurdle – Won in 1985, 1986, 1987, 2009 & 2010
Kim Muir – Won in 2002 & 2005
Triumph Hurdle – Won in 2009 & 2010


ALAN KING: A few shrewd judges are tipping up the Barbury Castle trainer to challenge the top three at this year’s festival and although he lacks any real bankers they’ve got plenty of hopeful chances – they would just need a bit of luck along the way. They haven’t had the best of festivals for the past few seasons, but their batch of horses this season looks to be a lot better and the fact they are in better general form too then it will be a shock if they can’t bag at least a couple of successes. The improving Hold On Julio, who goes for the JLT Chase, could go well on the opening day, while they look to hold a strong hand in the Triumph Hurdle, a race they’ve done well in the past at, too with Grumeti and Balder Success. Add in that jockey Robert Thornton looks to be well over his recent injury and riding as well as ever then everything points to a big festival for the King team.

Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 26 from 271 (10%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 7 from 86 (8%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 18 from 165 (11%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 1 from 20 (5%)

Key Horses: Montbazon (Supreme), Hold On Julio (JLT Chase), Batonnier (Neptune), Invictus (RSA – Doubtful), Vendor (Fred Winter), Medermit (Ryaniar), Balder Success & Grumeti (Triumph), Kumbeshwar (Grand Annual)

Key Races:
Triumph Hurdle – Won in 2005 & 2007

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DAVID PIPE: Which ever race he runs in Grands Crus will be the highest profile runner for the Pipe team at the Cheltenham Festival this year, and after a successful time at Presbury Park 12 months ago then the Pond House stable will be hoping for much of the same. In a recent Racing Post article David Pipe said that Salut Flo, who will probably be heading for the Byrne Group Plate on Thursday, is his main fancy for the meeting. Add in Buena Vista, who will be hoping to add a third Pertemps Hurdle to his CV and the likes of Great Endeavour (Ryanair) and Junior, who dotted up at the Festival 12 months ago, then at a meeting they always do well it will be a shock if they don’t come away with at least a winner or two. Finally, despite not having won the race yet in its first three runnings, it goes without saying that keep an eye on anything they run in the Martin Pipe Hurdle on the final day – a race named in his father’s honour.


Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 26 from 295 (9%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 15 from 135 (11%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 11 from 155 (7%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 0 from 5 (0%)

Key Horses: Grands Crus (RSA or Gold Cup), Buena Vista, Our Father (Pertemps), Salut Flo (Byrne Group Plate), Balgarry, Street Entertainer, Decoy (Martin Pipe), Kazlian (Fred Winter), The Package (JLT Chase), Master of Arts (County Hurdle)

Key Races:
Pertemps Hurdle – Won in 2010 & 2011
Byrne Group – Won in 2002 & 2010
Kim Muir – Won in 2003, 2004 & 2011


PHILIP HOBBS: Not having the best of seasons with their big-guns Captain Chris, Wishfull Thinking and Menorah not hitting their expected heights. However, there’s still time for them to turn that around and a win for any of the three at Cheltenham will be a nice tonic for the yard. They have still sent out over 50 winners this season, but have managed 86 for the past two campaigns. It’s in the prize money stakes they are lacking though – so far they are just over £600,000 and will do well to break the one million mark – something they’ve achieved in all of the past 10 seasons. Sadler’s Risk, who runs in the Triumph Hurdle on the final day, will be one of their leading hopes, but it’s worth nothing that 16 of the last 18 winners of this race won last time out and he was beaten into second behind Baby Mix in the Adonis last month at Kempton. Of their others, the once useful Snap Tie, who returns from a 2 ½ years off, could be interesting in the County Hurdle, while Colour Squadron, who has recently been bought by JP McManus, will be hoping to bounce back after his Newbury fall in the Supreme Novices’ hurdle. Probably their standout track stat is that they are 3 from 12 in bumpers at Prestbury Park – and they did land the Champion Bumper 12 months ago too.


Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 35 from 299 (12%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 18 from 143 (13%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 14 from 144 (10%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 3 from 12 (25%)

Key Horses: Snap Tie (County Hurdle), Captain Chris (Gold Cup, Ryanair), Qaspal (Martin Pipe), Sadler’s Risk (Triumph), Wishfull Thinking (Champion Chase), Menorah (Arkle)

Key Races:
Triumph Hurdle – Won in 2004 & 2006


: With more winners than the Nicholls team so far this season then it’s clear how far this yard have come over the past 2 or 3 seasons. Okay, so they might lack a tiny bit when it comes to having an army or top-class horses to challenge in all the main races like Henderson and Nicholls do, but let’s not forget they are the current Grand National champions. Peddlers Cross will be their big hope of a festival winner this year and now he heads the slightly easier-looking Jewson Novices’ Chase, rather than taking on Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle, then he’ll be a warm order. Their stable jockey, Jason Maguire, is also riding right at the top of his game at present and he’s already fired in over 115 winners this season making this his best-ever total. Others to keep an eye on at Cheltenham are Overturn in the Champion Hurdle, Cinders and Ashes in the Supreme Novices, Bourne in the Coral Cup, Our Mick in the JLT Specialty Chase and, of course, Weird Al, who looks to have a great chance in the Gold Cup. If there is a slight negative heading into the festival then it’s their poor record at the track – in the last 5 years they are only 3 from 75 at the Prestbury Park venue.

Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 3 from 75 (4%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 1 from 24 (4%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 2 from 45 (4%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 0 from 6

Key Horses: Peddlers Cross (Jewson Novices), Weird Al (Gold Cup), Cinders and Ashes (Supreme), Bourne (Coral Cup), Our Mick (JLT Specialty Chase), Overturn (Champion Hurdle), Charminster (Pulteney Land Investments)

Key Races:
Kim Muir – Won in 2007 & 2010



JONJO O’NEILL: How good would it be if Albertas Run can land a third Ryanair on the Thursday? The O’Neill team have had a real struggle just to get him to Cheltenham, but with conditions looking ideal and AP riding then he’ll have plenty going for him in what looks one of the races of the meeting. With 8 festival winners and 10 seconds over the past 7 years then it will be a shock if this local yard can’t fire in at least one winner over the 4 days and it could be in the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Challenge Cup, run on day two – the yard have taken that prize 4 times since 2002. This year they also have a leading Gold Cup hope to take on the likes of Long Run and Kauto Star in Synchronised – Yes, he might want a bit more cut, but this year’s Lexus Chase winner will certainly not be stopping at the business end, it’s just a case of will he be too far back before his stamina kicks in?

Overall 5 Year Track Stats -

All Races Cheltenham Record: 12 from 163 (7%)
Cheltenham Chase Record: 10 from 85 (12%)
Cheltenham Hurdles Record: 2 from 70 (3%)
Cheltenham NH Flat Record: 0 from 8

Key Horses: Albertas Run (Ryanair), Get Me Out Of Here (Coral Cup, County), Sunnyhillboy (Kim Muir), Synchronised (Gold Cup), Eastlake (Martin Pipe)

Key Races:
Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Challenge Cup - Won in 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2007
Pertemps Hurdle – Won in 2003 & 2004
Ryanair Chase – Won in 2010 & 2011
Albert Bartlett – Won in 2006 & 2007