x5 Racing Post NAPs Champion Paul Jacobs previews the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival.
It’s important to keep a record of your ante-post bets and indeed investments on a day-to-day basis. It allows you to peruse the symmetry of your betting and in the long terms assess your strengths and weaknesses.
Luck will inevitably play a part in these events over a period of time. For example my ante-post bet on Big Buck’s in the 2009 World Hurdle at 33/1 was a a slight stab in the dark after I saw him jump like an arthritic donkey in two of his novice chase events. But then he unseated at the final fence in the 2008 ‘Hennessy’ and I knew I had to take a punt.
For a more educated guess, I put my hard earned on Paisley Park at 33/1 for the Stayers Hurdle before he ran at Haydock. It was done with the view that this category looked particularly weak. There was room for a hugely progressive young stayer to make his mark and the rest is history.
Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Odds
This year Paisley Park has cemented his place at the top of the pack with his usual workmanlike victories in the Long Distance Hurdle and Cleeve Hurdle. This is despite being shy of his best by at least 9lbs.
Like the great Big Buck’s, he too always seems to hit a flat spot before powering into overdrive up the hill. The lay out of the Prestbury Park track, with its long run home, seems to suit his run style admirably.
We all know that Emma Lavelle’s charge is the most likely winner, but there are two caveats here. Firstly, where will the mare Benie Des Deaux run? If I were lucky enough to own her, the Champion Hurdle would be my choice and even if she does turn up here the layers will be offering 10/1 bar the two.
We have to assume that Laurina and Apple’s Jade will not run here.
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Stayers’ Hurdle Runners
No doubt if L’Ami Surge runs he will once again flatter to deceive turning for home and is the obvious back to lay as much as Paisley Park is the opposite and worth putting in at around 2.50 ish when he does hit that aforementioned flat spot.
The World’s End tarnished his book with a flat display behind Emitom in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock. Although I reckon he would be a bit part player on better ground.
Officially rated level with the Tom George charge and two years his junior is RONALD PUMP. The seven-year-old is reportedly on target for this staying championship after blowing out over fences behind Carefully Selected in a Grade Three novice chase at Naas.
But previous to that lacklustre run over the larger obstacles, his hurdles form bares the very closest inspection albeit at a lower level.
A handicap victory off 123 was followed up with another smooth win over 136 in the spring. This showed that this youngster was going to be a force to be reckoned with granted a test of stamina.
To be fair, his two novice chase runs before the Naas blow out made punters believe he could take part in a championship race this year. But it was his run over hurdles before his chasing campaign at Leopardstown over Christmas which showcases his chance here. That afternoon he finished a close-up second to Treacyenniscorthy, giving the winner a titanic 29lbs.
The winner has cemented that form by winning off a 9lbs higher mark. I know that trainer, Mat Smith, has always had this race in mind for the selection pre-his-novice-chase-escapades.
Ronald Pump is strong on all grounds and the 50/1 betting odds available make the gelding a solid E/W bet.
Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Tips
Emitom and City Island are two dark horses with points to prove. The former bolted up in the aforementioned Rendlesham. While the latter looks to revert to hurdling following two miserable runs over fences. His Ballymore success last year was hugely impressive. However, despite beating Champ it was a far from vintage renewal. The lightly raced seven-year-old has plenty of questions to answer and can be backed at odds of 14/1.
With Ronald Pump flexible on all ground conditions, I am keen to have a good ground horse onside. Former winner PENHILL fits the bill nicely on the Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle betting odds.
A really fragile sort in the past, it has been good to see him visit the racecourse on four occasions this season. This would suggest that physically all is well with him for a change.
Funnily enough, although the horse prefers good ground, he won this championship in 2018 on soft ground. This was against arguably a non-stayer in Supasundae. However, this year he hasn’t come to within 20lbs of that championship performance like his Albert Bartlett victory 12 months earlier, on good ground.
Still, his runs this season have been mildly progressive. There is every reason to believe that a better spring surface could see him step up again. Whether that will be enough for the now nine-year-old to be involved at the sharp end here is up for debate. But I get the feeling that Mullins is gradually running him into form. He travelled with great fluency when second in the Boyne Hurdle last time out.
So there are risks attached to him, but that is built into his price at 16/1. It is worth remembering that he will line up for this championship event with an unblemished Prestbury Park record.
Stayers’ Hurdle Prediction
Before we wrap up this Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle Betting Tips piece, Summerville Boy also needs a mention.
His return to form this season has been hugely encouraging. Even as a novice he was always going to be more of a stayer than a speed horse.
Many pundits thought that he was flattered to finish so close to Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle as he was allowed to dictate the pace from the front. But if you look at the race again, you could argue that Summerville Boy was cutting back the deficit in the final 100 yards. If anything he would be served by a stiffer test of stamina and is an each-way player at 10/1.
In conclusion – As the odds indicate, Paisley Park is the most obvious winner in a race. The race has traditionally churned out multiple champions. Summerville Boy, Penhill and at a bigger price, Ronald Pump show huge each-way value.
The Stayers’ Hurdle is on 12th March 2020 at 15:30.
If you wish to place a bet on the Stayers’ Hurdle you can do so by clicking on the odds of one of our specially chosen bookmaker partners in this very article. Or you can head over to our betting odds pages to see the odds for the Stayers’ Hurdle and more.
Paisley Park won the Stayers’ Hurdle 2019 at Cheltenham Festival. This year’s favourite for Stayers’ Hurdle victory was 11/8 SP when the race began and Aiden Coleman was the jockey in the saddle.
Sam Spinner at 33/1 and Faugheen at 4/1 round off the top three horses in last year’s race.
Big Buck’s has won the most Stayers’ Hurdle races at Cheltenham with four victories. Big Buck’s won in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Ruby Walsh has won the Stayers’ Hurdle five times in his career. Ruby Walsh won four times with Big Buck’s and then another time with Nichols Canyon in 2017.
Last year’s prize purse for the Stayers’ Hurdle was £325,000. The winner received £182,878.
The Stayers’ Hurdle is run over just under three miles on the New Course. The exact length of the race is 2 miles and 7 furlongs and 213 yards.
Horses need to complete 12 hurdles during the race.
The competing horses must be four-years-old and up. The weight required is 11st 0lbs for four-year-olds, 11st 10lbs for five-year-olds +. There is also a 7lb allowance for fillies and mares.
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