Great Britain To Land Shock Prestbury Cup Win Over Ireland At Cheltenham Festival
A sparkling 28 races will take place over the four days at the Cheltenham Festival and an interesting sideshow is the Prestbury Cup, which will see Great Britain & Ireland do battle to try and amass more winners between Tuesday and Friday.
Team Ireland will head into the festival as warm favourites to win the Prestbury Cup, a title they won with aplomb 12 months ago, but the home team will have a multitude of classy performers running for them and it could be Team GB that prevail narrowly.
Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott will unleash some of the most exciting horses at this year's festival for Ireland, but while that pair have a significant strength in depth to their stables they may just lack the firepower to notch up enough winners. Elliott bagged eight winners last season, but his team will struggle to emulate that amount, while the Mullins operation is certainly not the force of old.
Joseph O'Brien adds some depth to the Irish challenge, while Henry de Bromhead and Pat Kelly could grab some winners over the four days, but the British charge could just have too much firepower on home soil and can take the coveted Prestbury Cup.
Nicky Henderson is fighting it out with Elliott and Mullins for the Top Trainer crown, and he will have the joys of sending Altior out in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, while the Seven Barrows team has a superb squad of novice performers ready to strut their stuff.
Henderson will ably be supported by Paul Nicholls, who much like Mullins, may not possess the quality he once had, but he has been in red-hot form of late and the Ditcheat inmates can grab some wins throughout the week. Colin Tizzard, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Nick Williams and Emma Lavelle are another star quartet of British trainers that can grab a winner during the week, and that can all aid Britain's chances of winning.
So, while Ireland may have the better quality within their ranks, it's Britain's array of elite trainers that could just help bag all the races, and the four Championship races could quite possibly head to Britain (Buveur D'Air, Altior, Paisley Park, Native River), so Ireland may just come up short and it's Britain that should be the favourites heading into the Prestbury Cup.