Nicky Henderson's six of the best Cheltenham Festival winners

Nicky Henderson is one of the leading names in British horse racing and the Cheltenham Festival will always have a special place in his heart.

James Callaghan was the British Prime Minister when Nicky Henderson started his training career back in 1978. The Seven Barrows trainer has asserted himself as the elder statesman of National Hunt racing and the King of Cheltenham with 69 winners and counting.

Planet Sport looks back on some of his hottest victories at the Cheltenham Festival.

See You Then - Champion Hurdle (1985)

It seems crazy to think that a trainer that won the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle in 2020 with Epatante actually first won the race back in 1985 with See You Then.

Yet, when you consider that Henderson is the most successful trainer in the race with eight victories, his mid-80's domination of the event is perfectly plausible.

Henderson won the premier event for hurdlers three years in a row from 1985 onwards with the talented See You Then, the horse's name almost a cheery goodbye to its opponents as it whizzed past.

Known to have tendon problems, the lightly-raced See You Then was carefully ridden by Steve Smith-Eccles at a price of 16/1 to scoot up for a seven-length victory.

Controversy surrounded the skewed start of odds-on favourite Browne's Gazette, who ran out initially, but it's unlikely that any horse could live with See You Then in that form.

Henderson capped one of the finest achievements of his fledgling career to bring back See You Then twice more for victories in the Champion Hurdle in 1986 and 1987.

Remittance Man - Queen Mother Champion Chase (1992)

The classy but anxious Remittance Man struck up an unlikely friendship with a sheep called Nobby but went on to win Henderson his first Queen Mother Champion Chase.

In fact, Remittance Man was so taken with his fluffy friend Nobby, who was put in his stall for company, that, when given a substitute sheep, he threw the imposter out and would only settle when the original was located in the flock and returned.

Despite Remittance Man's build-up to the 1992 Champion Chase being like something out of a Wallace and Gromit movie, the race turned into a superb training performance by Henderson.

Jamie Osborne delivered Remittance Man smartly over the final fence at speed to see off reigning champion Katabatic for a full length victory.

It's unknown whether Nobby the sheep was there to see Remittance Man cross the line but Henderson definitely had the bookies bleating with his even money winner.

Barna Boy - Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle (1997)

Despite making hay in the Coral Cup, Henderson has only won the County Hurdle, another of Cheltenham's hot handicaps twice.

In 1997, all eyes were on Paul Webber's Carlito Brigante going towards the final flight, with the horse in line for a hefty bonus after winning the Imperial Cup at Sandown just five days earlier.

Barna Boy was put up as a 14/1 shot for Richard Dunwoody in the 20 runner field but as the cavalry charged in the run-in it was the Henderson horse with the real weaponry. Dunwoody drove Barna Boy out to deny Carlito Brigante the Imperial Cup/Coral Cup bonus by just a length.

14/1 offered decent odds but Henderson was to go on to claim even larger priced wins in Cheltenham Festival handicaps, gaining a reputation for bringing his mounts to peak fitness at just the right time.

Bobs Worth - Cheltenham Gold Cup (2013)

Not all horses like Henderson's Sprinter Sacre ooze class and sometimes champions are born out of sheer work ethic.

Bobs Worth was called a "workman" by Henderson, a horse that wouldn't know when he was beaten and won five times at Cheltenham, culminating in 2013 with the greatest chase of them all.

Famously bought from jockey Barry Geraghty for just £20,000, the Irish horseman was to share the spoils by riding Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham showpiece against stablemate Long Run and Willie Mullins' Sir Des Champs.

At the third last, Bobs Worth was trundling along in fifth place with the race in the hands of Long Run and Sir Des Champs. Yet, at the business end, it was the workman Bob's Worth putting a shift in, eating into the deficit and overtaking his tiring stablemate Long Run.

Bobs Worth hopped over the last and the 11/4 favourite kept on stoutly for a seven length win from Sir Des Champs.

William Henry - Coral Cup (2019)

Few trainers could turn a horse pulled up in a Wincanton hurdle into a Cheltenham Festival Coral Cup winner, but Henderson did that in 2019.

Going off a huge 28/1, William Henry barely got a mention in the race commentary with Lil Rockerfella making all the running under Bryony Frost. Over the last it was Wicklow Brave, defying top weight to take to the front for Willie Mullins.

Few had their eyes on Nico De Boinville in the blue and white spiralled cap, surging through on the outside before catching and then passing Patrick Mullins on the Irish St. Leger winner Wicklow Brave.

William Henry got up by a short head and despite returning an unfancied 28/1 it showed the depth of affection for Henderson that the win was cheered by the Cheltenham crowd. Once again, Henderson had pulled one out of the bag in the big handicaps.

Shiskin - Arkle Challenge Trophy (2021)

Henderson is synonymous with class animals in the form of Sprinter Sacre, Long Run and Altior but entering his 70's has found another in Shiskin.

Named after the Russian painter, Shiskin looks likely to change the racing landscape with his sheer ability over fences.

All the talk going into the 2021 Cheltenham Festival was on the new Seven Barrows superstar and Shiskin didn't disappoint in a scintillating Arkle win.

With Irish raiders scooping up big Cheltenham races it was up to Shiskin to do his bit for the British contingent and he did so in fine style under a patient Nico De Boinville ride.

Skipping over the third last, De Boinville seemed like he was out for a Sunday hack in comparison to the toiling Captain Guinness and Allmankind.

Looking over his shoulder was about all the Henderson stable jockey needed in terms of exertion and Shiskin ran onto a neat 12-length victory from Eldorado Allen in second.

With the field splattered like a Jackson Pollock, the artist Shiskin will surely be in the frame at future festivals.

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