Friday 14 October 2022

Nicky Henderson


In recent seasons, Nicky Henderson has been forced to play 'second fiddle' to Irish trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott at the Cheltenham Festival, at least as far as the leading trainer award is concerned. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that the 'Master of Seven Barrows', who saddled his first Festival winner in 1985, has won the leading trainer award nine times, most recently in 2012.

In fact, he is the second most successful trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, behind only Mullins, with 70 winners. Henderson has won the Champion Hurdle a record eight times – including three years running with the talented, but fragile, See You Then in 1985, 1986 and 1987 – the Queen Mother Champion Chase six times and the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Stayers' Hurdle twice apiece. Championship races aside, Henderson has also won the Triumph Hurdle seven times and the Coral Cup four times; he remains the leading trainer, outright, in the history of both races.

Apart from See You Then, other multiple Festival winners for the yard include Bobs Worth, who won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in 2011, the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase in 2012 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013, and Sprinter Sacre, who won the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2012 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase twice, in 2013 and 2016. The latter remains the third highest-rated steeplechaser in the history of Timeform, behind only Arkle and Flyingbolt.

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