Cheltenham’s Most Successful Owner/Trainer Combinations
The Cheltenham Festival has provided many unforgettable moments for an array of owners and trainers, but some more than others have consistently enjoyed memorable days at the highlight of the jump racing season.
Just like horses and jockeys that forge close relationships throughout their careers, racing is full of successful partnerships between horse owners and trainers. Owners pump a lot of money into the training of their horses, so finding a trainer that ticks all of the boxes is essential to get return on their investment.
Own Your Own Cheltenham Hopeful
The top racehorse owners mentioned below are sole owners who have enjoyed success in the biggest races in the industry. With the recent popularity and successes of racing syndicates, however, it is now no longer just those millionaire owners that can enjoy the experience of leading a horse back into the winner’s enclosure at the biggest meetings.
Now, more than ever, owning a racehorse is an option for every fan of the sport. More and more syndicates are now seen celebrating victories at Cheltenham. Syndicates are a collection of racing fans that come together to pay to have a horse trained with some of the best trainers at a fraction of the price.
For a set price each month, those involved in a syndicate can follow the career of their horse, with visits to the training yard, trips to the racecourse, and the experience of rubbing shoulders with the famous owners mentioned below in the owner’s lounge.
In fact, with the likes of the Raceshare company, family members can now give racehorse shares gifts to their racing-mad loved ones.
Cheltenham’s Top Owner/Trainer Combinations
Rich Ricci/Willie Mullins
Two of the most recognisable faces in jump racing for very different reasons. Rich Ricci is the flamboyant American owner that loves to be seen, whilst, in contrast, Mullins’s quiet and calm behaviour belies his unbelievable training successes.
As a pair, they have plundered the biggest prizes in Britain and Ireland, particularly at the Cheltenham Festival. The big hurdle races have been proven to be very successful for the pair, with Annie Power and Faugheen having both won the Champion Hurdle.
In the Novice ranks, Mullins and Ricci were responsible for three straight Supreme winners from 2016, with Champagne Fever, Vautor, and Douvan, all winning the 2-mile contest. Douvan was also successful in the 2016 Arkle Novices’ Chase.
Although Ricci and Mullins have yet to team up for a Cheltenham Gold Cup win, they have gone close on a few occasions, with the ultra-consistent, Djakadam, finishing runner-up on two occasions.
Gigginstown House Stud/Gordon Elliott
Michael O’Leary and his Gigginstown House Stud setup have played a huge part in the success of Irish racing throughout the years, and although they like to spread their horses around to an abundance of trainers, it is with Gordon Elliott that they have enjoyed their most success at Cheltenham.
The climax of the owner/trainer team’s partnership came when the injury-prone, Don Cossack, won the 2016 Gold Cup. Samcro and Apples Jade have both added to the combination’s festival winners list, but it is the much-loved, Tiger Roll, that has given them the most to celebrate.
Famously a back-to-back winner of the Aintree Grand National, Tiger Roll has also provided his connections with many memorable moments at Cheltenham, winning on four occasions, including twice in his beloved Cross Country Chase.
JP McManus/Nicky Henderson
With the huge successes that leading owner, JP McManus has enjoyed, there is a long list of training partners that could have been named here. However, it is with the legendary trainer, Nicky Henderson that the Irishman has enjoyed some of his biggest Cheltenham wins.
The Champion Hurdle has been a particular race that the pair have dominated in recent years, winning four renewals since 2010 with Binocular, Buveur d’Air (twice), and Epatante, whilst others like My Tent Or Yours went very close to adding to that list.
Dame De Compagnie and Champ, have also supplied the all-conquering pair with Festival wins.