Nicky Henderson: Cheltenham Festival Trainer Profile

Martin Green

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 9:22 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 9:22 PM UTC

Nicky Henderson is a Cheltenham Festival legend and he will bring superstars including Altior and Buveur D'Air to the party this year.

<p><strong>Date of licence:</strong> 1978</p><p><strong>Origin:</strong> Berkshire</p><p><strong>Record:</strong> 629 wins from 2,453 runs, with a win record of 26% and 557 places over the past five years</p><p><strong>Cheltenham Festival wins:</strong> 60</p><p><strong>Leading trainer at Cheltenham awards:</strong> 3</p><p><strong>Years competing at Cheltenham Festival: </strong>1985-present</p><p><strong>Festival highlights:</strong> Long Run won the Gold Cup in 2011 and Bob’s Worth won it in 2013; Remittance Man won the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1992 and Altior won it in 2018; he has won the Champion Hurdle a record times, with See You then in 1985, 1986 and 1987, Punjabi in 2009, Binocular in 2010 and Buveur D’Air in 2017 and 2018</p><p><strong>Associated jockeys:</strong> Nico de Boinville, Barry Geraghty, Mich Fitzgerald</p><p><strong>Significant horses:</strong> Altior, Buveur D’Air, Might Bite, Sprinter Sacre, Long Run, Bobs Worth, Caracciola</p><h2><strong>Did you know?</strong></h2><p>Henderson was born in 1950 and educated at Eton College. He was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a stockbroker, but he discovered a passion for horseracing and pursued a career as a trainer instead. He served as an assistant to Fred Winter from 1975 to 1978, before branching out on his own at the age of 28.</p><p>He has gone on to become one of the most successful trainers of all time, having saddled more than 2,000 winners during an illustrious career spanning 40 years. He is based at the fabled Seven Barrows training facility in Lambourn and he has sent out some of the world’s most famous horses from those stables. They include See You Then, Bob’s Worth, Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Remittance Man and more. He is a five-time Champion Trainer and the second most successful trainer in <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cheltenham Festival">Cheltenham Festival</a> history.</p><p>This year he is the second favourite after <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gordon Elliott">Gordon Elliott</a> to be named the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, with <a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a> offering a market leading 9/4 (3.25). However, <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank" title="Paddy Power">Paddy Power</a> will only go as high as 5/4 (2.25) on him as it believes he has an extremely strong group to take to the meeting. Altior is on a 17-race winning streak and he is the clear favourite to win the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Chase">Champion Chase</a>, while Buveur D’Air is attempting to win a third straight <a href="" target="_blank" title="Champion Hurdle">Champion Hurdle</a> and Might Bite is set for another crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.</p><p>His preparations for the festival were disturbed by the outbreak of <a href="" target="_blank" title="Equine flu">equine flu</a> that caused a lengthy racing shutdown. That puts English trainers at a disadvantage compared to Irish counterparts like Elliott and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Willie Mullins">Willie Mullins</a>, but Henderson is confident that his team can rally. He also has Santini as favourite for the RSA Chase, while On The Blind Side could thrive in that race and Adjali is also worth looking out for among several strong hopefuls.</p>
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