At last year's Cheltenham Festival, 14 Irish-trained winners emerged and with British trainers earning the same number of wins, neither nation came out on top in the Prestbury Cup stakes.

But will 2020 see the Irish trainers come out on top like in 2018 when they enjoyed 17 winners from 28 races or 2017 when there were 19 winners?

The fortunes of these five contenders will be crucial:

Benie Des Dieux - Willie Mullins - Mares' Hurdle, Tuesday

This remarkable mare has won eight of her nine starts since joining Ireland's champion trainer, her only defeat coming in this race last year after she crashed out at the final flight when seemingly in complete control.

She bounced back by winning at Punchestown and in the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil before the end of the campaign, and was utterly dominant on her return to action in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in January.

While Honeysuckle promises to be a formidable rival, Benie Des Dieux is hard to oppose.

Envoi Allen - Gordon Elliott - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, Wednesday

Already a Festival winner having claimed a narrow victory in last year's Champion Bumper, this Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding has made a seamless transition to hurdling with three successive wins, extending his unbeaten overall record to seven.

He appears a straightforward ride, jumps well, has the soundest of temperaments and has course form - there is really nothing not to like.

This will be his toughest test yet against a clutch of high-class British novices, but Envoi Allen knows how to get the job done and is expected to do so again.

Tiger Roll - Gordon Elliott - Glenfarclas Chase, Wednesday

With four Festival wins and a two Grand National triumphs on his CV, Tiger Roll's place in the history books is already assured.

Elliott warned his legion of fans his stable star was not as fit as last year for his belated reappearance in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last month, but there was much encouragement to be taken from the way he travelled through the race before eventually tiring.

Keith Donoghue celebrates on Tiger Roll after winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in 2019

That run will leave him spot-on for his return to Prestbury Park, and while French raider Easysland has to be rated a threat, Tiger Roll can raise the roof by becoming a five-time Festival winner ahead of his date with destiny at Aintree in April.

Appreciate It - Willie Mullins - Champion Bumper, Wednesday

It is 24 years since the master of Closutton trained and rode Wither Or Which to claim his first Champion Bumper, since when he has saddled another eight winners.

Mullins holds outstanding claims of going into double figures this month, with Appreciate It having made a huge impression in winning his last two starts at Leopardstown in emphatic style.

He is laid back and stays well, but also has a change of gear - all the tools you need for what is not a race for the faint-hearted. If Envoi Allen and Tiger Roll have already won and Appreciate It comes home in front in the final race of the afternoon, Wednesday could be a bloodbath for the bookmakers.

A Plus Tard - Henry de Bromhead - Ryanair Chase, Thursday

This six-year-old turned a fiercely-competitive handicap into a procession at last year's Festival, so it is no great surprise he has gone on prove himself at the highest level this term.

A comeback second at Navan blew away a few cobwebs and there did not appear to be any fluke about his comprehensive defeat of Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown over the Christmas period, albeit the latter was entitled to improve for what his seasonal reappearance.

A Plus Tard comes into this fresh and can claim another Festival success at the chief expense of fellow Irish raider Min.