Total Trainer Winners – Cheltenham 2016 Preview & Tips

Total Nicky Henderson Winners

Outright Betting

There will be a number of punters pinning their hopes on another successful festival for Willie Mullins following his amazing haul of eight winners last year, though some backers may not necessarily want short odds about some of his hotpots.

Can Mullins Make It Eight Again?
Indeed, with the likes of Min, Douvan, Faugheen, Annie Power, Vautour, Un De Sceaux and Killultagh Vic, Mullins looks set for a cracking Cheltenham, in which there are bound to be several others who deliver at bigger odds – Wicklow Brave won the County Hurdle at 25/1 a year ago.

The fact Mullins has such a powerful army of runners suggests another big haul could be on the cards,

…but the question for punters is: how many will he have? A glance back at Mullins’ last five Cheltenham Festivals shows the number of winners (to runners) trained:

2015: 8-54
2014: 4-37
2013: 5-35
2012: 3-35
2011: 4-25

The pattern prior to last season was around the 4-5 winners mark, and punters who envisage that sort of tally can get odds of 5/4 for Mullins training 7 winners or less. However, investors who think Mullins’ big guns will deliver once more can get odds of 4/7 about 8 or more winners.

Ricci’s Runners In Pink of Condition
Owner, Rich Ricci, will be responsible for a large number of the Mullins’ team, and having been rewarded with four winners a year ago, via the likes of Douvan, Faugheen, Vautour and Vroum Vroum Mag, he should be on the scoreboard once more with the same quartet, who all return. As for the odds, then the most likely outcome is that Ricci could have over 4 winners at 5/4, with fewer than 4 priced at 6/4. Exactly 4 winners is the outsider at 5/2.

It’s easy to find a case for each of the above odds, but a glance at Ricci’s other entries at this stage also highlights Min and Annie Power, suggesting odds of 5/4 for over 4 winners look well priced.

Nicholls To Draw A Blank?
Elsewhere, Paul Nicholls sent out the following numbers at the festival since 2011:

2015: 3-27
2014: 1-33
2013: 1-30
2012: 2-30
2011: 3-28

Following the glory years of Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded and Big Buck’s, Nicholls’ numbers have dwindled a touch, and with just one current entry for this year at single-odds figures (Dodging Bullets at 9/1 for the Queen Mother). It’s no surprise, therefore, to see that odds of 5/4 are on offer for Nicholls blanking at the 2016 festival, with 1 winner 7/4 and over 1 winner 9/4.

Nicky Henderson on the other hand, looks to hold a much stronger portfolio, courtesy of Sprinter Sacre, Altior, Buveur D’Air, L’Ami Serge and Vaniteux. Henderson clearly has “live” chances across the four days, which may see takers of the 5/2 for exactly 2 winners, with 4/5 about 1 or no winners, and 3/1 for over 2 winners. For the record, Henderson’s five-year festival stats are:

2015: 2-31
2014: 1-38
2013: 4-39
2012: 7-37
2011: 2-43

Recommended Bets
While Willie Mullins is expected to have another memorable festival, the value looks to be with Mullins having 7 winners or fewer at 5/4. Repeating last season’s tally of 8 winners would take some doing, even with his firepower.

*Prices correct at time of publication