Top Cheltenham Festival Participants

The Cheltenham Festival has been described as the Olympics of jumps racing, as the very best horses and jockeys from all over the world come to compete in a variety of races involving different distances and obstacles. Legends are made at the annual four-day festival, and some of the most celebrated names in the sport have appeared here in recent years.

Unlike the Royal Ascot, however, the races at Cheltenham tend to attract the very best contenders from countries closer to home. French and Irish-trained horses have done well over the years. Of these, Baracouda is perhaps the most well-known, winning the Stayers’ Hurdle twice in his career.

Jockeys

Many famous jockeys have won races at the Cheltenham Festival over the years. Ruby Walsh is one of the most successful, twice winning 7 races across the four days. This happened in 2009 and 2016, but Walsh was also very successful in other years. His recent retirement now marks the end of his dominance, paving the way for up-and-coming jockeys to make a name for themselves.

Barry Geraghty and Paul Townend are other household names Cheltenham Festival fans will recognise. Geraghty is the second most successful jockey at Cheltenham behind Ruby Walsh, while Townend is currently the leading jockey for prestigious trainer Willie Mullins and has finished as the top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival three times in the past three years.

Rachael Blackmore is another pioneering jockey who regularly graces the races at Cheltenham. She impressed the racing community by scoring six wins at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021, becoming the first female jockey to do so. Blackmore also became the first female jockey to win the Grand National, making her by far one of the most exciting jockeys to watch.

Trainers

If you check the Cheltenham race card, you’ll see that many of the top horses are trained by Willie Mullins. He has one of the top stables in horse racing and has produced countless winners on the big stage. He’s the most successful trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, with a total of 78 winning horses. These include Al Boum Photo, Hurricane Fly, Vautour, Florida Pearl, and Annie Power, among others

Unibet Ambassador Nicky Henderson is another of the best trainers at Cheltenham. Another major stable that has produced winners at the Cheltenham Festival is Paul Nicholls, who has trained winning horses like Kauto Star and Denman.

Horses

There are plenty of Cheltenham races every year, and each is won by a top-tier horse. The legendary Golden Miller set an unprecedented feat in the 1930s by winning the Gold Cup in five consecutive years from 1932 to 1936. In 2013, French mare Quevega won the Mares’ Hurdle for the 5th year in a row. However, there’s no question that Golden Miller’s feat is in a league of its own.

Al Boum Photo won the Gold Cup twice in a row in 2019 and 2020. Due to the nature of the racecourse, it’s difficult for horses to win in consecutive years, making this trophy even more prestigious. In recent years, high-performing horses have included Energumene, Galopin Des Champs, and A Plus Tard.

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