Is A “Holy Trinity” Repeat Possible at Cheltenham 2022?

For most national hunt racing trainers, winning at Cheltenham Festival is the ultimate dream. Sure, some might prefer the Grand National, and others might have a special affinity for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, but Cheltenham has become the true epicentre of jumps racing in the 21st century. Winning there is tough, however. In the feature races, particularly, you are going to come up against the best horses in the British Isles in each discipline.

And yet, some trainers can make it look easy on occasion, as was the case with Henry de Bromhead at the 2021 Festival. In March, de Bromhead completed what has been dubbed the “Holy Trinity”, training the winner of the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Such a feat had eluded all the great trainers down the years. For example, Willie Mullins, who is the most successful trainer in Cheltenham history, has never won the Champion Chase, and he couldn’t get his hands on the Gold Cup for over two decades before Al Boum Photo came along in 2019.

Special Cheltenham 2021 for de Bromhead

What de Bromhead achieved was remarkable, but could it be repeated again in 2022? If we look back at previous Cheltenham results, we can see the three horses that did the business for de Bromhead: Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle), Put the Kettle On (Champion Chase) and Minella Indo (Gold Cup). Of that trio, Honeysuckle is the most likely to repeat. The mare is the odds-on favourite for the 2022 Champion Hurdle. Minella Indo is second-favourite for the Gold Cup, but it’s worth noting that de Bromhead has the current favourite too, A Plus Tard. So, a Champion Hurdle/Gold Cup double is a real possibility.

But bookies aren’t so keen on Put the Kettle On. You can’t really say it was a fluke to win the Champion Chase last March. It was a fine ride under Aidan Coleman, and Put the Kettle On had won the Arkle the year previously. But the odds of 25/1 are a testament to indifferent form. Moreover, the two market leaders, Shishkin and Energumene, are considered a class above everyone else in the field. Henry de Bromhead has other entries, like Captain Guinness and Envoi Allen. But the former would be a shock winner, and the latter will probably be aimed elsewhere.

Champion Chase heroics will be difficult to repeat

So, while a Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup look a real possibility for de Bromhead – and you can be sure many punters will back such a double – the Champion Chase looks incredibly difficult. Shishkin, who is trained by Nicky Henderson, is tipped to go head to head with Willie Mullins’ Energumene in what might be the most highly-anticipated battle of the Festival. Still, all-too-often, these showdowns between big names tend to not play out the way we expect, and the door could be left open for a runner like Put the Kettle On or Captain Guinness.


Of course, it’s not only de Bromhead that could do the hat-trick. It is possible that Willie Mullins could land the Champion Hurdle (Sharjah), Champion Chase (Energumene) and Gold Cup (Al Boum Photo/Allaho). But in terms of odds, you are talking several hundred to one. Possible is not the same as probable. Still, if anything, it shows what an achievement it was for de Bromhead last March. From Fred Winter to Nicky Henderson, Legendary trainers had been tipped to do it before, but they ultimately failed. When de Bromhead heads to Cheltenham in March, he will know that if he can’t complete the Holy Trinity again, it’s unlikely that someone else will. History tells us that.

1000 Guineas

The 1000 Guineas (aka 1000 Guineas Stakes) is a 1 mile Group One race, run on the flat. It’s for three year old fillies and is one of the British Classics, a group of 5 races steeped in history, that are seen as the height of achievement in flat racing (1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Epsom Derby, St Leger Stakes). It’s also one of the three races that form part of the fillies triple crown (1,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes). Only a handful of fillies have ever won all three races.

The race takes place in late April or early May each year at Rowley Mile, Newmarket. It was first run in 1814, a few short years after the first 2000 Guineas took place. In less than 50 years it became the must watch and must win race for three year olds, and it’s a reputation that the race maintains to this very day. So much so that there are varients of the race all over the world, from the Irish 1000 Guineas, to the German 1000 Guineas and the Oka Sho in Japan.

The purse for the event is a sizeable £500,000, with almost £300,000 of that going to the winner. Many of racing’s big hitters have won the 1000 Guineas, in recent history the likes of the Aidan O’Brien trained Minding in 2016 and Bilesdon Brook in 2018. Unlike with some races, many of the records of this event such as top owner (4th Duke of Grafton) and jockey (George Fordham) go back 100+ years. This should be no suprise though considering the 1000 Guineas is over 200 years old!

Watch the Grand National!


Anyone with even a passing interest in horse racing (or not living under a rock!) will be aware that the Aintree Grand National 2021 is fast approaching. A little under a week away now, in gearing up to the event Katie Walsh has given Betway her take on women’s achievements in the race over the years – something that is certainly no stranger to her (she placed third with Seabass in the 2012 event).

This year will feature three women jockeys and so let’s see what they can do this time around. They’re up against it in 2021 mind you, as this year’s Grand National features one of the shortest prices favourites in a long time; the Jonjo O’Neill trained, Cloth Cap. At time of writing now just 7/2 with several bookmakers and so is certainly heavily favoured by punters. As we well know though, so much can happen over the 16 Grand National fences (14 of which are jumped twice) so it’s best to take nothing for granted. With Becher’s Brook and The Chair to deal with, only a fool would look at any horse in the race as a nailed on ‘sure thing’. On 10th April we can see for ourselves. ‘Place your bets now please!’



Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is a grade one national hunt event that takes place in Cheltenham in March of each year over a 2 miles and ½ furlong, 8 hurdle course. It’s part of the much anticipated four day Cheltenham Festival, taking place on day one of the festival, and has attracted a wealth of racing talent since its inaugural run in 1927.

As a, or possibly ‘the’, highly anticipated hurdling event of the season, the Champion Hurdle understandably has been won by some very big names, such as three time winners See You Then and Instabraq, as well as the talented Persian War. The purse for the Champion Hurdle is currently £400,000, so it’s come a long way from the 1927 race when the prize money was £365. The Nicky Henderson trained Buveur d’Air has impressed in the Champion Hurdle in recent years, winning both the 2017 and 2018 races.

Henderson is actually the leading trainer over the entire history of the race, with a total of seven wins to his name. As he works closely with J. P. McManus, it’s surely no surprise to hear that Mcmanus is the leading owner to date. Leading jockey honours are split between Ruby Walsh and 1950’s jockey Tim Molony, both on four wins a piece.