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Willie Mullins has loomed large over the Cheltenham Festival in the modern era. He was named leading trainer for the first time in 2011, when he saddled four winners. Nicky Henderson reclaimed the award in 2012, but Mullins then won it four times in a row from 2013 to 2016.
His falling-out with Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary shifted the balance of power in Gordon Elliott’s favour for a couple of years. O’Leary’s best runners transferred to Elliott, who was named leading trainer in 2017 and 2018. However, Mullins returned to the top in 2019 and won again in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Mullins will be the strong favourite in 2023 Cheltenham odds for top trainer, ahead of the likes of Elliott, Nicky Henderson and Henry de Bromhead.
Ruby Walsh was named top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival 11 times during a prolific 14-year period prior to his retirement. This award is now named after him, with the jockey that wins the most Festival races handed the Ruby Walsh trophy. Davy Russell seized it with four wins in 2018, followed by Nico de Boinville in 2019.
Paul Townend rode five winners in 2020 to claim the honour for the first time. In 2021, Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to be named top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival. Her wins that year included a famous Champion Hurdle triumph aboard Honeysuckle.
In 2022, Townend – who became the number one jockey to the Mullins yard in the wake of Walsh’s retirement – outstripped his rivals again to win the trophy. He is the favourite once more in Cheltenham top jockey odds, ahead of Blackmore, Russell and de Boinville.
The Prestbury Cup is awarded to the country that produces the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival – Great Britain or Ireland. It was inaugurated in 2014, named after the Festival’s Prestbury Park location. Great Britain secured a 15-12 win that year, followed by a 14-13 win in 2015, but Irish trainers have dominated ever since.
Their first win came in 2016, after the meeting expanded to 28 races. Ireland picked up a 15-13 win that year, before routing their British counterparts 19-9 in 2017. Another blowout win for Ireland came in 2018, when Irish trainers earned 17 wins. There was a dramatic 14-14 draw in 2019, but it has been one-way traffic since them.
Ireland won 17-10 in 2020 and then surged to their heaviest victory in 2021, clinching 23 wins compared to just five for British trainers. It was delicately poised at 11-10 to Ireland heading into the final day of the 2022 Festival, but an Irish whitewash saw them pick up an 18-10 win. Ireland is the heavy favourite in Prestbury Cup odds again this year.
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You can find the best Cheltenham odds for all 28 Festival races here at Gambling.com. Our racing experts compare prices across the top bookies and list the best odds here, so punters can get full value when betting on Cheltenham.
The favourite wins in around 30% of Cheltenham Festival races. In the Gold Cup, the favourite wins 45% of the time, while 50% of Champion Hurdle favourites emerge victorious. The Champion Chase and Stayers' Hurdle are won by the favourite 36% of the time.
The majority of betting apps featured at Gambling.com have best odds guaranteed for the Cheltenham Festival. This means you can bet on a horse to win by taking an early price and you'll be paid out at the starting price, if it ends up being bigger.
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The Gold Cup takes place on the fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival each year. Friday is traditionally 'Gold Cup day' at Cheltenham, when the highlight of the Festival takes place over 3m2½f. The 2023 Gold Cup falls on March 17.