Stayers Hurdle Tips - 3:30pm Cheltenham

2019 Stayers Hurdle Preview

The Stayers Hurdle has proved to be the most open of the four Championship races in recent years and with winners at 10/1, 12/1 and 14/1 in three of the last four renewals and hence also been a tricky one for punters.

Last year’s winner was Penhill trained by Willie Mullins, it was a superb performance made even more worthy as it was his first run of the season. The 8yo has been a late withdrawal this time around and it leaves the yard relying on Faugheen.

Supasundae was beaten two lengths in the race last year and unfortunately for him he’s caught between the Champion Hurdle over two miles and this race over three. Ideally he probably wants somewhere in between so the ground may be the all-important deciding factor on where he turns up.

This season so far he has finished second to Apple’s Jade in the Hatton Grace Hurdle (2m4f) and then was second again in the Ryanair Hurdle over the minimum trip behind Sharjah. He got boxed in at the wrong time in that race so the end result was a decent effort.

Faugheen would be a very popular winner, the former Champion Hurdler has been a tad unlucky over the last year. He was a disappointing 6th behind Buveur d’Air last march and then went on to beat Penhill in the Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown. That was a terrific effort and all seemed to be back on track.

This season Faugheen has yet to show us he retains that sort of form, he was heavily beaten by Sharjah in the Morgiana Hurdle when long odds on and then fell two out when attempting to foil Apple’s Jade in the Christmas Hurdle over this sort of trip. He had yet to be asked the question by Ruby Walsh when he went down so you would have to respect his chances in this company and with Apple’s Jade out of the way as she looks certain to go down the Mares Hurdle route.

The home challenge is looking a bit on the weak side, last years third Wholestone goes well at Cheltenham but hasn’t improved any during this campaign so it’s difficult to see him getting involved at the moment.

The likes of Mountain Shadow and Paisley Park are the new kids on the block and it may be worth looking a bit closer at those two.

Paisley Park is another youngster on the upgrade, he has won four races this season and went up 16lbs in the official ratings in his first 3 starts . His rise entitles the 7yo to have a go in this higher grade and we undoubtedly have yet to see the ceiling this horse could reach.

His effort when winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot was very solid form, he beat West Approach and Top Notch that day who are both very decent yardsticks. He seems to go any ground and stays the trip well.

The youngster confirmed his promise in no uncertain terms when bolting up in the Cleeve Hurdle at the trials meeting. He stormed home well clear of a decent field and a repeat of that effort would give him every chance here. Trainer Emma Lavelle is in no doubt that he has more to offer and could be the one to beat.

Trainer Tom George has an option to send Black Op back over hurdles after a false start over the bigger obstacles this season. He hasn’t looked a natural for some reason in two Novice Chases so far and last years Ballymore Hurdle runner-up could turn out to be a useful staying hurdler. We all remember Big Bucks doing something similar all those years ago.

The 8yo finished third at Cheltenham on his first try at the trip and wasn’t disgraced behind the runaway winner Paisley Park, he should come on for that outing and has each way claims.

Willie Mullins also saddles Bacardys who fell at the last in this race twelve months ago. He was staying on and would have finished in the money so has to be given a squeak here. He has been chasing so far this season, without much success it has to be said so the switch back to hurdles is probably plan B. Bapaume is another of the Mullins battalion, he is the choice of Paul Townend and comes here after finishing second to Presenting Percy at Gowran Park in January. That form is pretty decent and could be a live outsider.

Punters Lounge Tip: Faugheen 9/2 at William Hill - Click here To Bet

Stayers Hurdle Trends
Stayers Hurdle Previous Winners
2019Paisley Park7Aidan ColemanEmma Lavelle11/8
2018Penhill7Paul Townend

Willie Mullins

2017Nichols Canyon7Ruby WalshWillie Mullins10/1
2016Thistlecrack8Tom ScudamoreColin TizzardEvs
2015Cole Harden6Gavin SheehanWarren Greatrex14/1
2014More Of That6Barry GeraghtyJonjo O'Neill15/2
2013Solwhit9Paul CarberryCharles Byrnes17/2
2012Big Buck's9Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls5/6
2011Big Buck's8Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls10/11
2010Big Buck's7Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls5/6
2009Big Buck's6Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls6/1

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