Paul Nicholls: Cheltenham 2023 entries, odds and Festival record – The Telegraph

Our expert runs the rule over the 13-times champion trainer’s contenders to bring him glory at the biggest National Hunt meeting of the year
The 2023 Cheltenham Festival (14-17 March) is almost here and this article profiles the runners most likely to bring Paul Nicholls an overdue win at the meeting.
Paul Nicholls is one of most successful British National Hunt trainers in racing history, having been crowned champion trainer 13 times – second only to Martin Pipe’s 15 titles.
He took out a trainer’s licence in 1991 but his breakthrough came at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival, where he saddled the winners of the Champion Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and Gold Cup.
However, he has not been overly successful at the Festival throughout his illustrious career, failing to win any of the showpiece races since 2012 and last being named trainer of the Festival in 2009.
He still has had 46 winners at the Festival in the past 24 years including four in the Gold Cup, three in consecutive years, and six in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. That puts him on the all-time list behind Willie Mullins (88) and Nicky Henderson (72).
The Festival gets under way with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Nicholls has an immediate opportunity for a winner with the six-year-old.
Tahmuras has won his previous four races, including the Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown in January. Last year, Constitution Hill won the Sandown race before his victory in the Supreme.
Odds of 9/1 reflect that Tahmuras has a good chance of winning at Cheltenham and offer decent value, but he faces the Irish duo Facile Vega and Marine Nationale, who are both 7/2 in the betting.
Tahmuras @ 9/1 with bet365
Threeunderthrufive has not won since January 2022, but he is a course-and-distance winner as a novice and finished sixth in last year’s Grade 1 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Festival.
Away from Cheltenham, the eight-year-old unseated his rider at Newbury in November and finished sixth in the Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick in January.
However, Threeunderthrufive’s course form means he remains one to watch for this 3m 1f test.
Threeunderthrufive @ 12/1 with bet365
Hermes Allen is the only one of Nicholls’ major runners who is set to line up at the Festival as the favourite in their race.
The six-year-old has all three of his races under Rules, including the Grade 1 Coral Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury at the end of December.
None of the last 19 Challow Novices’ Hurdle winners has won the Ballymore but Nicholls will be hoping to break this curse and register his first Cheltenham winner since 2020.
Hermes Allen @ 11/4 with bet365
Greaneteen finished fourth in this race in 2021 but Nicholls is convinced the nine-year-old gelding has improved greatly since then.
Three Grade 1 prizes have come his way, all at Sandown in the Celebration Chase (2021 and 2022) and Tingle Creek Chase (2021). He was second behind Edwardstone in the 2022 renewal of the latter in December and has also collected the Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.
At 33/1, Greaneteen may provide good each-way value for the Champion Chase.
Greaneteen @ 33/1 with bet365
Nicholls has trained four Gold Cup winners but none since 2008 and Bravemansgame is an outside chance for this year’s race.
The eight-year-old has won his last two races, most recently the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton in December.
However, he will have to contend with the likes of Galopin Des Champs, last year’s Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard and the 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats.
Bravemansgame @ 9/1 with bet365
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