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Top Cheltenham Jockey and Trainer

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With the Festival only a week away now I thought it would be interesting to have a close look at the leading jockeys and trainers championship for the four-day bonanza.
The highest amount of winners ridden by a jockey ever at the meeting is 7 which, no surprise was when Ruby Walsh rode that amount at the 2016 and 2019 meetings predominately for the Willie Mullins stable. Incidentally, the least amount of winners that took the Festival championship was two.
No surprise that Willie Mullins' stable jockey Paul Townend is heading the bookmakers betting at a top priced 1/2 (Coral/Ladbroke) when you consider the likely firepower that he will get his leg over during the four days. Mullins currently has a staggering 12 favourites and 5 second favourites in the ante post books for the 28 races next week so you can see why Townend is a short priced favourite, as short as 1/5 with bet365.
Current second favourite is Nicky Henderson’s stable jockey Nico De Boinville who’s currently a top-priced 8/1 chance with William Hill. His best hopes lie with the likes of Jonbon (13/8 top priced for Arkle), Constitution Hill (4/11 Champion Hurdle), Shishkin (8/11 Ryanair) & Luccia (13/8 Mares Novices’ Hurdle), four horses with excellent chances plus he’ll no doubt be riding a few with chances in the handicaps. He would need to have his four bankers win to hold any real chance of taking the jockeys championship and even then he may have to play second fiddle to Paul Townend.
Davy Russell is third best at a top priced 12/1 with Betfair Sportsbook and he will no doubt be riding plenty of the Gordon Elliott fancied runners which include Gerri Colombe (top-priced 7/4 Brown Advisory), Delta Work (11/8 Cross Country Chase) and Mighty Potter (11/8 Turners Chase) with plenty of decent chances in the other races. A man for the big occasion who came out of retirement only a month ago to help Elliott out when his number one jockey Jack Kennedy was injured, it would be some story were he to take the winning most jockey title.
Rachael Blackmore is a top-priced 16/1 chance with William Hills with her best chance of riding a winner surely coming with Honeysuckle in the mares hurdle (top-priced 9/4) but it’s hard to think she’ll have enough firepower to worry Paul Townend with the same comment applying to Harry Cobden who will be on top of the Paul Nicholls runners which include Bravemansgame (top priced 8/1) in the Gold Cup and Hermes Allen in the Ballymore (top priced 11/4).
With the Willie Mullins firepower behind him Paul Townend will be hard to beat and the 1/2 may be value at the end of day one with him riding four favourites and a second favourite on that day. Mullins’ stable jockey has won the winning most jockey title on 7 of the last 10 years and it’s hard to think that his current number one Townend will not succeed here.
Unfortunately no firms are laying each-way odds so if a skinny one suits then it has to be the 1/2 Paul Townend with Coral and Ladbrokes.
The trainers championship at the four-day Festival looks very likely to go to Willie Mullins who’s taken the title on 8 of the last 10 years (Gordon Elliott securing the other two) and is currently a top priced 2/13 with Skybet with Gordon Elliott and Nicky Henderson both around the 8/1 mark to wrestle the prize away from the Closutton maestro. There’s no value in this market I’m afraid with Mullins currently priced around the right mark.
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  • The Brigadier changed the title to Top Cheltenham jockey and trainer
  • StevieDay1983 changed the title to Top Cheltenham Jockey and Trainer

Interesting reading there, @The Brigadier! I appreciate the odds warn against it but I'm always a sucker for the outside bet. Always loved an underdog story and even though the top jockey looks destined for Paul Townend, I am really tempted to back Nico De Boinville just in the outside hope something happens. For me, the whole fun of betting on sport is allowing it to help you develop an affinity or emotional connection with someone or some team. I wouldn't feel any connection with backing someone as short-priced as Willie Mullins or Townend. However, if I was backing Nicky Henderson or De Boinville at those odds then even if they fall short I'll have been more heavily invested in their journey throughout the festival.

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