A recent run is thought to put the final finishing touches to a horse ahead of the Cheltenham Festival and this is something that seems to be true of runners from the yard of Nicky Henderson.
Of the 46 runners that Henderson has sent to the Festival that have arrived without a run for 66 days or more, not a single one has triumphed.
This is bad news for many of Henderson’s leading prospects this time and could make him worth opposing to be the top trainer at Cheltenham this year.
Simonsig (4/7 for the Arkle), Bobs Worth (3/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup) and Grandouet (8/1 for the Champion Hurdle) are among the Henderson clan that have not run within this timeframe and therefore question marks should be placed among their chances.
There is no doubting that Henderson has many logical Cheltenham winners in his camp and more runners than his opposing trainers, but this statistic does throw some doubt over many of his more certain chances of victory.
As a result, there is more of a reason to oppose him at 4/6 to train the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival.
Willie Mullins comes next in the betting at 6/4 and has his own stable of strong fancies, most notably Quevega for the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, Hurricane Fly for the Champion Hurdle and Pont Alexandre for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle.
At bigger prices, David Pipe and Jonjo O’Neill will have a strong team, particularly in the handicaps, and should not be totally discounted at 33/1 and 50/1 respectively to be the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date