The Cheltenham Festival is just under ten weeks away and the Betfair Sportsbook have launched their Top Trainer market, Adam Baylis takes a look at the odds...
Willie Mullins - 6/4
Gordon Elliott - 13/8
Nicky Henderson - 5/2
Paul Nicholls - 25/1
Alan King - 33/1
Joseph O'Brien - 33/1
Nigel Twiston-Davies - 40/1
Colin Tizzard - 50/1
Dan Skelton - 50/1
Henry De Bromhead - 66/1
Willie Mullins heads the betting in the Betfair Sportsbook's Cheltenham Festival 2018 Top Trainer market at 6/4 but at this stage he looks some way short of the ammunition he's gone to war with in previous years. Footpad is one of those likelier to oblige, currently 15/8 for the Arkle.
Gordon Elliott is second favourite at 13/8 and his chances of retaining his title are slightly more obvious with Ballymore favourite Samcro looking a potential penalty kick (available at 2/1) and previous Festival winner Cause Of Causes set to return for further glory. In addition he has Mares' Hurdle favourite Apples Jade at 4/5 and Kim Muir market leader, Squouateur at 10/1.
The home contingent is led by Nicky Henderson at 5/2 who trains the favourite for no less than seven races currently including Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle, Altior in the Queen Mother and Cheltenham Gold Cup hopeful Might Bite.
At bigger prices, perhaps the likes of Paul Nicholls at 25/1 or Colin Tizzard at 50/1 could surprise a few. The latter spoke of his delight with a much improved performance from Thistlecrack in the King George at Christmas and all roads now lead to Prestbury Park.
Nicholls' Politologue is currently second favourite for the Queen Mother at 3/1 and could well give the Ditcheat handler another Grade 1 victory if Altior fails to turn up in March.