By News Team
Last Updated: 12th March 2020
The UK and Ireland are home to the best trainers in the horse racing world. Whether it be English or Irish, Flat or Jumps, there is no shortage of quality.
The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest racing events on the calendar and sees the top horses, trainers and jockeys go head-to-head. Ahead of the 2020 Festival, which gets underway on Tuesday, we take a look at the top National Hunt trainers in the UK and Ireland.
Willie Mullins will go down as one of the best trainers the racing world has ever seen. Mullins previously worked for his father Paddy Mullins and Jim Bolger before training in 1988. He has won multiple big races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Champion Hurdle four times and the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle six times. His stable stars across the years have included Faugheen, Un De Sceaux, Annie Power, Tourist Attraction and Hurricane Fly.
Based in Ireland, Mullins has been the driving force for the Irish at Cheltenham for a long time.
Dan Skelton operates in England and has a fantastic track record. Harry Skelton rides out for his brother and the partnership has proved lethal across the years, with Dan Skelton having amassed 114 winners in England this season alone.
In the earlier days, Skelton worked for nine years as assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls, where he continued to learn and craft his skills. Since then, Skelton has been flying – in the 2018/19 season he had over 200 winners, while he has also had multiple Cheltenham winners over the years.
Skelton’s current top horses include Ch’tibello, Roksana, Nube Negra and Allmankind.
Gordon Elliott is a relatively new trainer, beginning his career in 2011, but since then he has been on fire. This season, Elliott is hot on the heels of Willie Mullins with 150 wins and over €3,600,000 in prize money.
Elliott has already saddled horses that will go down in racing history, with his stars including fan-favourite and two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll, Gold Cup hopeful Delta Work and rising star Envoi Allen.
Nicky Henderson is one of the most well-loved trainers in the racing community. Henderson began training in 1978 and has since enjoyed an illustrious career. Based at Seven Barrows in Berkshire, Henderson’s most notable winners include See You Then, who won the Champion Hurdle three times, Remittance Man, who won the Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Punjabi, who won the Champion Hurdle.
Henderson also trains racing legend Altior. Although there has been much controversy over Altior this season, he continues to be one of the most impressive horses we’ve ever seen. This year, Henderson received an OBE for his services to racing.