Three alternative candidates to be Festival 'Top Trainer'

Henry De Bromhead saddles some top notch challengers at next week's Cheltenham Festival.
Henry De Bromhead saddles some top notch challengers at next week's Cheltenham Festival.

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is now just days away which means the focus among fans of the jumps game is beginning to come into sharper focus. Sean Raymond took a closer look at some alternative choices for the top jockey at the meeting last week and today is the turn of the trainers...

Aficionados of the sport will know all about the names on this page but with the Cheltenham Festival bringing in a wider audience, it is time to put the spotlight on one or two trainers who perhaps are less well known outside of the National Hunt sphere.

The Cheltenham Top Trainer market is of course dominated by the likes of Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, among others, but here are three men who might just be able to sneak their way into the frame next week at big prices…

Henry De Bromhead

The intimidating spectre of Mullins and Elliott has loomed large over the Irish jumps racing game over the past decade and that has meant it has been tough for any other trainer to get a look in at the highest level.

Henry De Bromhead has been one man, though, who has proven time and time again that he is more than capable of mixing it with the big boys with the Knockeen handler once again heading to the Festival with several strong chances.

The popular trainer is of course no secret in the sport, but he remains slightly under the radar to the casual punter in the UK who only tends to dip their toes in the racing waters during Cheltenham. De Bromhead will head across the Irish Sea next week with a plethora of live contenders and hoping to add to his already impressive tally of Cheltenham Festival winners, which includes the likes of Sizing Europe and Special Tiara, who both won the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

This year’s team looks stronger than ever with Honeysuckle the headline name in the Mares’ Hurdle after a terrific campaign saw her jump to the forefront of the sport. A Champion Hurdle tilt has been shelved for the winner of the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle which means she will stay against her own sex on day one of the meeting.

Other potential contenders for the team include Notebook, who has leading claims in the Arkle on Tuesday and Minella Indo, who will be looking for a second win at Prestbury Park as he starts as one of the key threats in the RSA Chase.

Philip Hobbs

It feels odd to talk about a great trainer like Philip Hobbs as someone who perhaps isn’t a name on the tip of the tongues of punters heading into a meeting like Cheltenham.

The experienced handler has just about seen it and done it all, but the last few years has been tough for one of the nicest guys in the game. Hobbs has struggled to compete with the big boys on both sides of the Irish Sea, but the last 12 months has seen the Minehead handler go through something of a renaissance which means hopes are likely to be high of a strong Festival.

Those of us who have studied the sport over the last 20 or so years will have great memories involving the Hobbs team with horses like Rooster Booster, Flagship Uberalles and Detroit City just three special animals that come to mind.

The 2020 Hobbs string on route to Prestbury Park is led by the brilliant Defi Du Seuil, who heads to the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday for a mouth-watering clash with Altior and Chacun Pour Soi. The JP McManus-owned star has already won the Tingle Creek and the Clarence House this term and few would be surprised if added a third Festival win to his already bulging CV.

The former Triumph Hurdle winner is far from the only contender from Sandhill this season though with crack novice hurdlers Thyme Hill (Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle) and Sporting John (Ballymore Novices' Hurdle) both likely to feature towards the head of the betting in their respective races. Throw in one or two handicap contenders and a host of each-way chances and you have the makings of a terrific week for a trainer who has proven throughout his career that he is one of the best in the business.

Joseph O’Brien

When Joseph O’Brien announced he was retiring from the saddle to become a trainer a few years ago it was only a matter of time before he made a success of his new career.

The son of the great Aidan O’Brien had a remarkable spell in the irons and so far he is proving to be equally successful in the training ranks. There is no doubt that he has been well supported by some powerful owners under both codes, but he has already proven he is more than capable of producing the goods on the big day by getting one ready.

The O’Brien name is perhaps one of the most well known in the world of equine sport but younger punters heading to Cheltenham for the first or second time may not anticipate just how strong Joseph’s Festival team is in 2020.

The Derby-winning jockey looks to be heading to Gloucestershire with a host of entries to his name across the majority of the key races which means there is every chance he can once again star during the four most important days on the calendar.

Fakir D’Oudairies looks like the key threat for Team JOB with a crack against the aforementioned Notebook in the Arkle on Tuesday likely to be a fantastic spectacle.

Other O’Brien contenders next week include Sempo, who has several options including the Coral Cup and Cerberus, who looks like a potential challenger in the Boodles after some impressive showings during his juvenile campaign.

Finally, Front View is one to keep an eye on with the young JP McManus-owned animal fancied to run a big race in one of the handicaps in Gloucestershire next week.

Cheltenham Festival Odds
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

£20 Risk Free Bet Refunded In CASH On Losing Bets (APP Only)

#AD New customers only. Deposit £20 using card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Welcome Offer
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on Horse Racing at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
#AD New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. #ad
Bet £10 Get £5 Or 50% Losses Back Up To £25
To activate your Sportsbook 50% Back Welcome Offer, simply deposit and bet on any Sportsbook markets of your choice at odds of evens (2.00) or greater. If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting (23:59), we'll refund 50% of your first day's losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (Minimum 3 bets required). If your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens or greater. T&Cs apply. 18+
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. T&Cs apply
Today's Most tipped
Add All Tips To Betslip
Latest racing results
1st Lady Excalibur
2nd Last Of A Legend
3rd Good Look Charm
1st The Model Kingdom
2nd Kilbarry Chloe
3rd Ottizzini
1st Kicking Princess
2nd Diamondinthemud
3rd Scarlet Witch
View All Today's Results