Stayers’ Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 3.30 at Cheltenham, 14th March 2019, Cheltenham Festival Day Three
The Cheltenham Festival rolls on to day three and the big staying hurdle of the year. Read on for the best odds and offers, as well as our betting tips for the World Hurdle.
The season’s premier hurdle for those runners boasting stamina as their forte, takes centre stage on day three at the Cheltenham Festival. Now over a century old, having been first run in 1912, this Grade 1, three mile contest sees the contenders tackle 12 hurdles around the New Course, in pursuit of over £295,000 in total prize money.
Stayers’ Hurdle Ante Post Betting Tips 2019
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Offers and Free Bets
Stayers’ Hurdle Tips and 2019 Ante Post Race Preview
Penhill and Faugheen set for rematch
To end last season, stablemates Faugheen (10/1, Coral) and Penhill (7/1, Betfair) headed to Punchestown for the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle. The latter stood as the 2/1 favourite but finished 13 lengths behind the former Champion Hurdle winner who took command of the entire contest. The pair will likely meet again here but perhaps this time the tables will be turned. Faugheen hasn’t been so impressive since April’s victory which is increasingly looking like a fortunate result. He was an easily beaten favourite on his season return and then fell during the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle.
Penhill didn’t feature again in 2018 following his second place at Punchestown but as the reigning Stayers’ Hurdle champion, he remains as the main contender. In last year’s renewal he looked in fine shape despite it being his first appearance in 11 months. For the last two years Willie Mullins has given the bay gelding a long rest so he won’t be hindered if going straight into the Festival again. It’s been common to see horses defend their Stayers’ Hurdle crown and Penhill stands a fine chance of being the next horse able to do so.
Supasundae forever reliable
Although Supasundae (10/1, Ladbrokes) may not have pocketed as much in winnings as some other names in this race, he’s long been a model of consistency. Jessica Harrington’s horse has managed a top two finish in 11 of his last 13 starts as well as in eight of his nine appearances in Grade 1 races. You can count on him to do himself justice at Cheltenham, much like he did on his last visit to the prestigious racetrack. The then eight-year-old claimed second place in Stayers’ Hurdle, finishing just two lengths behind Penhill. He might fall just short of a win again but there’s a strong chance of him claiming a placed finish.
Apple’s Jade may be handed a new challenge
For the last two years at the Cheltenham Festival, Apple’s Jade has made her appearance in the OLGB’ Mares Hurdle. The talented mare won on both occasions and she’s the ante post favourite to retain her title. This year however it may be that she gets handed a shot to face some of the boys either in this race or in the Champion Hurdle. Jack Kennedy, who has ridden the seven-year-old on the last five occasions, has refused to give anything away but did state he would be happy to take on any challenge.
Her 10/1 price at Betfair will be absolute steal should she run in this race, although this is one large if. She isn’t a stranger to three miles though, twice winning over the long distance in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. She was made to work harder than usual during the 2017 edition but the soft ground was likely a big reason behind this. On better ground last month, she absolutely crushed the field and in the process handed her trainer, Gordon Elliot, plenty to think about.
- 2018 – Penhill – jockey Paul Townend, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2017 – Nichols Canyon – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2016 – Thistlecrack – jockey Tom Scudamore, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2015 – Cole Harden – jockey Gavin Sheehan, trainer Warren Greatrex
- 2014 – More Of That – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
- 2013 – Solwhit – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Charles Byrnes
- 2012 – Big Buck’s – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2011 – Big Buck’s – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2010 – Big Buck’s – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2009 – Big Buck’s – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2008 – Inglis Drever – jockey Denis O’Regan, trainer Howard Johnson
- 2007 – Inglis Drever – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Howard Johnson
- 2006 – My Way de Solzen – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
Stayers’ Hurdle History
This contest has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings as a selling contest, worth just £100 to the winner back in 1912. Such was its lowly status, it was twice dropped altogether from the festival offering, being absent between the years of 1928-29 and 1939-45. The race returned in 1946 under the guise of the existing Spa Hurdle which saw its previous two mile trip increased to the three miles of this event. The advent of sponsorship in 1972 saw the race renamed the Stayers Hurdle. This title stuck until 2005 when Ladbrokes took over sponsorship of the event and introduced the World Hurdle banner.
The race was moved to its Thursday slot in 1993 and began to firmly establish itself as one of the true championship events of the week. Dorans Pride was a hugely popular winner for Ireland in 1995 before the race entered its golden age just after the turn of the century.
First came a touch of class with the French trained Baracouda. Francois Doumen’s star stayer was a cheeky neck winner in 2002 before edging out Iris’s Gift in a real thriller in 2003. Iris’s Gift didn’t have to wait long for his revenge, turning the tables on Baracouda when coming out on top in 2004.
Baracouda was made to settle for second once again in 2005, this time tasting defeat at the hands of Howard Johnson’s Inglis Drever. But for missing the 2006 race due to injury, Inglis Drever may well have won this race four times in a row. Returning to health in 2007 he returned to reclaim his crown as the king of the stayers. 2008 was the year this gelding by In The Wings entered the history books by becoming the first horse to win this event three times. However it didn’t take long for this record to be broken.
2009 saw the dawn of a four year period of domination by one of the greatest stayers to ever take to the track. It wasn’t only here that Big Buck’s proved unstoppable. His first win in this race was just the third of an incredible 18 race unbeaten run encompassing his four wins in this event and a further six at Grade 1 level.
Big Buck’s exploits were enough to propel himself, Ruby Walsh, Paul Nicholls and the Stewart family to the top of the all-time most successful horse, jockey, trainer and owners lists for this race. Ruby Walsh was back to winning ways in 2017 on the back of Willie Mullins’ Nichols Canyon. In 2016 a new star was born in the form of Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack: he won in supreme style.
Open to horses aged four and older, it has been a long time since one so young prevailed, 1934 winner Fobdawn being the most recent. We have to travel even further back in time in order to find the races oldest ever winner, namely Zarane back in 1927. This contest seems to have evolved into an event for the younger runners, between 1987 and 2015 no horse older than 9 came home in front.