21 May 2022

Carlow based Willie Mullins the highest earning trainer at the Cheltenham Festival

Figures over the last decade have shown

Carlow Carlow Carlow

File photo

Willie Mullins will head into the Cheltenham Festival in March with the acclaim of being the most successful trainer at the event in terms of prize money over the past 10 years.

The research, conducted by, found that Ireland-based trainer Mullins has earned a hefty £730,436 at the Festival during this period, ahead of the renowned British trainers Nicky Henderson (£616,562) and Paul Nicholls (£399,252), who sit second and third respectively.

With the exact information on what percentage of the total prize money a trainer earns usually being withheld, the study instead calculated the total winnings of every horse that’s competed in the Festival over the last 10 years and associated 10% of the winnings to the trainer.

Mullins is one of many Ireland-based trainers to compete at the Festival over the past decade, though his winnings alone contribute to just over 40% of the total winnings earned by his compatriots at the Festival. 

However, the £1.8 million won by Ireland-based trainers was trumped by British-based trainers in that period, who received a total of £2.5 million in prize money since 2009.

In terms of horses, it is the Nicky Henderson-trained Altior who has scooped the most prize money, collecting £621,995 after four consecutive wins at the Festival - a figure that would swell further if he equalled history by completing a hat-trick in next month’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Buveur D’Air (£507,024) and Sprinter Sacre (£492,370), two fellow horses trained by Henderson, came fourth and fifth on the list respectively, trailing Paul Nicholls’ Big Bucks (£600,118) in second place and Willie Mullins’ Hurricane Fly (£543,406) in third.

When it comes to trainers who have earned the most prize money in a single year at the Festival, Willie Mullins once again comes out on top. 

Mullins earned a whopping £129,148 in 2016, with wins in the Champion Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase and the Arkle Challenge Trophy being the catalyst behind a very successful Festival for the Irishman. 

Wins are a huge factor towards his tally, and the Closutton trainer has earned a staggering £454,917 in the last 10 years from winners in the different races at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Once again, Mullins also came out as the top earning trainer when it comes to winnings in the Festival’s blue riband race, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with a total of £96,951 - ahead of Nicky Henderson (£89,145) and Paul Nicholls (£76,197).

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