Over the years, a fierce rivalry has brewed at the Cheltenham Festival. With a large contingent of Irish runners, Great Britain and Ireland have locked horns in stiff competition, better known as the Prestbury Cup. As the Cotswolds meeting rolls around again, punters across the United Kingdom and Ireland will be stuck in a heated debate regarding who will be crowned the overall champions this year.

Given Willie Mullins’ dominance at Prestbury Park over the last decade or so, it may not come as a surprise that those on the other side of the Irish Sea have had their fair share of bragging rights, and unfortunately for those hoping for a Great Britain victory this year, it’s not looking likely, according to the bet exchange.

With 28 races across the four days, a minimum of 15 winners are needed to secure an outright victory. So, as the trainers get their horses in tip-top shape ahead of the Festival in hope of securing the cup for their country. Let’s take a look back at how the last three editions of the Prestbury Cup have panned out.

2020 – Ireland

With Ireland’s Gordon Elliott and Mullins tying with seven winners apiece in the race for last year’s Leading Trainer award, with the latter nabbing it on the basis of more placings, it’s hardly a surprise that the Prestbury Cup was won by the Irish. In the end, it was a bit of a landslide victory with Ireland racking up 17 wins in total compared to Great Britain’s 10. Henry de Bromhead contributed to Ireland’s victory with wins from Honeysuckle and Put The Kettle On, and he’ll be hoping to land further success again with those horses, along with the likes A Plus Tard, Bob Olinger and Minella Indo, this year.

2019 – Tie

A tie in the race for the Prestbury Cup in 2019 would have left Great Britain ruing a missed opportunity. By the halfway point on day two, the hosts boasted a 7-4 lead over Ireland. However, three wins in a row from the Irish was enough to draw them level heading into the last two days. GB had looked to run away with it on day three with five victories compared to just two winners for Ireland, and when the Brits made it 14-9 after the first two races on Gold Cup day, it looked all but over. However, an impressive five straight wins for Ireland resulted in the honours being shared, whilst Mullins was once again awarded with the top trainer accolade with just four victories, beating England’s Nicky Henderson, again based on more placings.

2018 – Ireland

It was another comfortable victory for those from the Emerald Isle in 2018 as they beat Great Britain 17-11 to land their third successive Prestbury Cup. Elliott largely contributed to Ireland’s victory with eight victories, which was enough to see him crowned the Leading Trainer for the second year in a row, whilst Mullins was hot on his heels with seven. Patrick Kelly and de Bromhead rounded Ireland’s tally up to 17 with a win each. Eight different trainers contributed towards Great Britain’s 10 victories, including Dan Skelton, Paul Nicholls and Warren Greatrex, who all landed a winner each, whilst Henderson and Colin Tizzard were the most successful with just two victories apiece.