Favourite Willie Mullins has been backed into Even money from 5/4 to claim the top trainer crown at Cheltenham for the fifth year out of the last six.
The Clonsutton handler’s cohort is expected to include 6/4 ante post favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Getabird, as well as last year’s Ryanair Chase winner Un De Sceaux, who is the 5/2 favourite with BoyleSports to become the second dual winner of the race.
Mullins’ main rival in the market is compatriot Gordon Elliott, who walked away with the honours at last year’s Festival with six winners and who currently holds the edge in the Irish National Hunt Trainers’ Championship.
Support for Elliott has also seen his price squeezed into 7/4 from 2/1, while Nicky Henderson, who opened up at 2/1, has been pushed out 5/2 despite a sending a team which currently includes favourites in three of the four championship races.
Lawrence Lyons, Spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “The Irish pair have a stellar cast between them including Getabird, Footpad and Un De Sceaux in the Mullins camp, whereas Elliott is armed with the likes of Samcro and Apple’s Jade.
“Elliott notched six winners at last year’s Festival to claim top honours and we’d be expecting a similar target to be enough this time round, but it’s Willie Mullins who has shaded the early sparring having come out on top in four of the last five years.”