Billed as the feature race on the third day (Thursday) of the Cheltenham Festival, the Stayers’ Hurdle (formerly the World Hurdle) is run over a distance of 3m with 12 hurdles to jump.
In recent years, the contest has been dominated by previous winners of the race with the French-trained, Baracouda, landing the prize twice, the gutsy Inglis Drever winning three times, while the Paul Nicholls-trained Big Buck’s took the honours four times on the bounce between 2009-2012.
In 2018 we saw the Willie Mullins yard win the Stayers’ Hurdle for the second year in a row – this time with the 7 year-old Penhill, who will be a popular choice in 2019 if lining up again and will be hoping to become the first back-to-back winner since multiple winner – Big Buck’s.
Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent Stayers’ Hurdle winners and give you the key stats to take into the 2019 renewal – this year run on 14th March 2019.
Recent Stayers’ Hurdle Winners
2018 – PENHILL (12/1)
2017 – NICHOLS CANYON (10/1)
2016 – THISTLECRACK (Evs)
2015 – COLE HARDEN (14/1)
2014 – MORE OF THAT (15/2)
2013 – SOLWHIT (17/2)
2012 – BIG BUCK’S (5/6 fav)
2011 – BIG BUCK’S (10/11 fav)
2010 – BIG BUCK’S (5/6 fav)
2009 – BIG BUCK’S (6/1)
2008 – INGLIS DREVER (11/8 fav)
2007 – INGLIS DREVER (5/1)
2006 – MY WAY de SOLZEN (8/1)
2005 – INGLIS DREVER (5/1)
2004 – IRIS’S GIFT (9/2)
2003 – BARACOUDA (9/4 fav)
Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Trends
14/16 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/16 – Had raced within the last 10 weeks
13/16 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
13/16 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) before
13/16 – Aged 8 or younger
12/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/16 – Went onto run at the Aintree Grand National Meeting later that season
12/16 – Placed favourites
12/16 – Winning distance – 2 1/2 lengths or less
11/16 – Had won over hurdles at Cheltenham before
11/16 – Had raced that calendar year
10/16 – Won their latest race
9/16 – Rated 163 or higher
9/16 – Contested either the Cleeve Hurdle (6) or the Long Walk Hurdle (3) last time out
7/16 – French-bred
7/16 – Went onto win at Aintree later that season
6/16 – Winning favourite
4/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
5/16 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
3/16 – Irish-trained winners
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 11/2
Stayers’ Hurdle Stats:
Every winner since 1972 has been aged 6 or older
Since 1972 there have been 7 previous winners of the race
Horses that ran at the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival are 20 from 24
Horses that were placed fourth or better last time out have won 30 of the last 31 renewals
The top five in the betting have finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in 7 of the last 15 renewals
Just three Irish-trained winners since 1996 – Solwhit (2013), Nichols Canyon (2017), Penhill (2018)
All of the last 31 winners were aged 9 or younger
Stayers Hurdle – 21 Year Trends
16/21 – British-trained winners
2/21 – French-trained winners
3/21 – Irish-trained winners
Willie Mullins (Ire) has trained just 2 winners of the race (2017, Nichols Canyon, 2018 Penhill)
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained just 1 winner of the race (2000, Bacchanal)
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 4 of the last 10 winners
Jonjo O’Neill (UK has trained 2 of the last 15 winners
Ruby Walsh has ridden 5 of the last 10 winners
No Penhill this year to defend his title and really it’s hard to get away from PAISLEY PARK. This 7 year-old has improved at a rate of knots in this division this season after mopping up the Long Walk Hurdle and the Cleeve Hurdle and if running to that level again will be very hard to beat. He rates one of my bankers at the meeting. Yes, Faugheen will be interesting against him over this trip, but at 11 years-old he’s no spring chicken and has just one win from his last six. Last year’s runner-up Supasundae likes the track and should be in the mix too, but the jury is still out on the trip – I personally feel he gets it, but just not at the highest level. With 15 top three finishes from 19 hurdles runs then he looks destined to be in the frame though. Of the rest, Barcardys could be interesting if Mullins has him back to his best, while the consistent Black Ops is another for the each-way punters, but is likely to come up short in in terms of winning.
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