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FESTIVAL RECORDS

TOP FESTIVAL TRAINERS - 2012 to 2016 - Mullins 27, Henderson 16, Nicholls 10, O'Neill 8, Pipe 7, Elliott 6.

W Mullins strides on from N Henderson increasing his lead from 8 to 13 winners over the 5 yr spread. Willlie sitting about 13% winners per runners and won just over £1m in prize money at both of the last two Festivals. Nicky on 8%. P Nicholls stays in third thanks to a treble last year. Jonjo has struck only with Minella Rocco in the past two Festivals. However he still has the best return for £1 level stakes of the top eight over the last 5 years. You would be £16 in front. P Nicholls stated he 'would be more selective in 2015' and has produced 3 winners in each of the last two jamborees. Still ran 36 over the four days last year. February 22nd 2017 P Nicholls states only running between 18 and 20. Dreamcatching G Elliott finished second to Willie in the Festival prize money table for 2016 with £480k and is now in profit for £1 level stakes over the past 5 years. Trainer with current best percentage winners/runners remains J Culloty who has only ever bought Spring Heeled, Lord Windermere and It Came To Pass to the Festival (that's 3 wins from 6 runs and the hunter chaser was a wee bit unfortunate last year).

W Mullins since 2003 is 24 winners from 39 Festival runners of those SP 3/1 and under. Six from eight in 2016 (Min, ouch, Un De Sceaux). Only ten from his total 48 winners have been over fences but five of those ten have come in the last two years. Has also trained 5 different Gold Cup runner ups so he may know what he is doing. Hasn't really followed PN's view on 'being more selective'. Ran 61 horses over the 4 days in 2016. Ran 56 in 2015.  Be advised. I'm not sure that Mr Mullins cares for stats. Black Hercules winning a chase of the back of a fall? Don Poli winning an RSA with only two previous runs over fences? Sired by Montjeu and getting up hills? RSA and Champion Hurdle winners need a run in the calendar year? Supreme winners need to be out no more than 45 days beforehand and shouldn't lead the whole way? Might be writing his own stats book. Has also won six of the h'cap hurdles in the past seven years.

Although no longer a trainer I think we should applaud Colm Murphy's 13 placed horses from a total of 20 Festival runners. Three placed from three runners in 2012. No Festival runners between 2013 and 2015. Last year he signed off with Empire of Dirt (daisy). Good luck sir in your new venture.
 

8 of David Pipe's 13 Festival winners have worn blinkers. He has won 3 G1 chases, the G1 bumper and 9 handicaps. Only ran 11 in total last year. Becoming selective.

8 of Jonjo O'Neill's 9 handicap winners have been in races over 3m+. The other?

Trainers Cold List - P Hobbs had 8 course winners between the 2015 and 2016 Festivals but is winnerless at the Festival since Fingal Bay benefitted from Darryl Jacob's photo misjudgement in the 2014 Pertemps. Since 2011 Mr Hobbs has only won with Fingal and Balthazar's Gift (twice in the X Country). He's a nice man. In January 2000 I remember him taking my call as I practically wept down the phone when Dr Leunt died in exactly the same circumstances as Many Clouds. Current Cold Festival list, C Longsdon 52, Hobbs 48 Defi Du Seuil, Rock The Kasbah, T George 42, V Williams 42, C Longsdon 41, D McCain 37, T Vaughan 38, N Williams 35, H de Bromhead 30 Champagne West. T Vaughan has never trained a winner at any Cheltenham Meeting (140 odd runners). Keep trying Tim, I am rooting for you every time they run there. Current Cheltenham Course cold list, T Vaughan (140 odd runners), B Ellison 11yrs (72), N Richards 8 yrs (41), Dartnall 7 yrs (38), Lavelle (30). It seems harsh with the technical disqualification of Any Currency but Messrs Keighley, Longsdon Our Kempfaer, Webber, Richards Simply Ned or Mann Seventh Sky have yet to saddle a Festival winner. Heron Heights in this season's October meeting has been Henry de Bromhead's only course winner in over 4 years. A King came off the cold list with AP's final Festival winner, Uxizandre, in 2015 but has already accumulated a new Festival cold run of 23. Now clinging on to a place in the current top ten. 9 of his 15 Festival winners have been in G1s. But 0 from 16 with Festival Favourites. (Messire Des Obeaux, the Challow winner. Sorry if it sounds like I spat those words out?). N Henderson 0 from his last 20 but then Willie had a losing run of a lot between Yorkhill and Black Hercules last year (Its a quiz question).

All time Trainers Wins leaderboard - N Henderson 55, W Mullins 48, P Nicholls 40, F Walwyn 40, M Pipe 34, F Winter 28, F Rimell 27, JJ ONeill 26, T Dreaper 26, V O'Brien 23, B Turnell 23. (Nicky leading trainer 9 times but Willie has won 5 of the last 6)

In 5 of the last 7 Festivals, N Henderson has had at least 2 G1 winners. Whisper was his only winner in 2014, Call the Cops and Peace and Co (G1) 2015.

CHAMPION TRAINER Paul Nicholls has had a career 130 odd runners in h'cap chases. Four winners, Solar Impulse 28s last year, Andreas '07 and St Pirran '04. All three in the Grand Annual along with Chapoturgeon in '09 Jewson. His last two Festival Chase winners have come immediately on the back of a handicap hurdle success. Ibis De Rheu last year and Aux Petit Soins/Dodging Bullets 2015 Queen Mother. Dodging broke a losing run of 81 in all types of Festival chases. (Talk about momentum!). First stable Festival chase winner since Kauto Star's 2009 Gold Cup. 13 others tried in 2015, Southfield Threatre placed in RSA the sole other return. 7 of them (including Dodging) started 7/1 or under. In 2014, 14 tried, seven of them were 10/1 or under, nothing placed. 2013, 11 tried, again nothing paid a return. Since most trainers would probably sell their families for a QM winner it is probable unfair to pick out this information but I submit that the stable continues to be overbet in this area.

Apart from Big Bucks, he has only been successful with one out of 19 favourites in the past 7 Festivals (Sanctuaire, 2010 Fred Winter). The ill fated Stilletto fell last year and both Saphir De Rheu and Silviniaco Conti were beaten in 2015 (Feb 25th Racing Post 2016 he said, 'the festival isn't the be-all and end-all...its not all about Cheltenham...more enjoyable not having so many high profile horses going there.' Sure it is. Was that the same man I saw bouncing up and down on RUK with Graham Wylie when Solar Impulse won?). In the last 4 festivals Mr Nicholls has had 8 winners, Dodging Bullets and 7 handicappers, of which Solar Impulse was the sole chase winner. I have seen it suggested that Dodging Bullets won a handicap disguised as a Queen Mother Champion Chase but that's not fair. With none of the handicappers being a favourite the average price for these winners has been nearly 16/1. No longer seems to have the Graded firepower but definitely worth thinking about his plots. May not even have a runner in any of the four 2017 Championship Races.

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