Coral present Cheltenham records infographic ahead of 2016 Festival
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 10, 2016
Records, they say, are meant to be broken, yet such feats at the Cheltenham Festival, home of National Hunt Racing, are not achieved lightly. Coral celebrate these with another excellent infographic.
The two trainers you hear talked about in connection with Prestbury Park more than any other are Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins.
Seven Barrows handler Henderson has saddled more Cheltenham Festival winners than anyone in history with 53, including a joint-record five Champion Hurdle victories, but top Irish counterpart Mullins set a new record of eight triumphs at a single meeting last year.
Compatriot Tom Dreaper trained the most Cheltenham Gold Cup winning horses with five. Mullins will be seeking to repeat his four opening day wins from 2015, with Min (Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Douvan (Arkle Challenge Trophy), Annie Power (Champion Hurdle) and Vroum Vroum Mag (Mares’ Hurdle) all favourites for their respective races.
When it comes to being in the saddle, then Ruby Walsh is the top jockey in Festival history with 45 victorious mounts. Ruby’s best return at a single meeting is seven.
Tim Molony is the only four-time Champion Hurdle winning rider, while Pat Taaffe matched that number in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. You have to go way back to 1928 for the youngest-ever successful jockey in a Festival race with then teenager Bruce Hobbs scored aged 17.
As for the horses themselves, Quevega was the Queen of Cheltenham, setting an incredible record of six successive Mares’ Hurdle victories (2009-14). That eclipsed five-time Gold Cup champion Golden Miller, who reigned supreme around Prestbury Park in the 1930s.
Only two 12 year olds have claimed chasing’s blue ribbon event in Silver Frame and What A Myth. Five horses hold the distinction of being three-time Champion Hurdle victors, including Istabraq and Persian. Much is made of the nationality of the nags these days, and Irish dominance is not all that surprising.
You have to combine British (5) and French (8) bred horses just to match the total of 13 horses hailing from the Emerald Isle that won at the 2015 Festival. Returning to the theme of great mares, Dawn Run is the only horse to complete the Champion Hurdle (1984) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (1986) double.
Last, and by no means least, are the punters. The 2015 Cheltenham Festival saw the biggest turnover for a single race, and here’s hoping your brilliant and brave betting helps us to break that this year.
Coral’s worst-ever day for Gold Cup losses came in 2003 when four favourites, including Best Mate, were victorious. No horse has won the big race of the Festival at longer odds than Norton’s Coin – a 100/1 shot in 1990.