The Stayers’ Hurdle is March, 12, 2020
Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle (2 miles 7 furlongs)
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The penultimate day of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival provides another afternoon of treats at Prestbury Park for followers of horse racing. One fixture on the list is the Stayers Hurdle and this year’s renewal promises to be something quite spectacular.
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Stayers Hurdle 2020 Preview & Tips
Preview By Frank Monkhouse
Former professional boxer who is now a content writer specialising in sports and betting. Has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Coral and Betfair covering all manner of sports, from boxing and football to horse racing. A student of the formbook, he loved stats, trends, numbers and how they can guide punters towards a winner.
Not the showpiece event of the week, of course, but the Grade 1 contest decided over 2m 7f isn’t short on attention. With £325,000 in prize money available – more than £182,000 of that paid to connections of the winner – it’s little surprise to see some of the biggest names in the sport come out to play. Who will wrestle the crown from last year’s champion Paisley Park? That remains to be seen, but it will be great fun watching the race unfold.
The Stayers Hurdle 2020 has a rich history that can be traced all the way back to the inaugural race held back in 1912. The honour’s roll includes some instantly recognisable names, including Big Bucks, Nichols Canyon, Thistlecrack, Baracouda and Galmoy.
The following preview examines the Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle betting, focusing on antepost betting, trends, past winners and there’s even a betting guide that should boost your chances of making a profit from the race. Let’s get started.
Antepost Key Runners & Favourites
Traders at all major bookmakers have released their antepost markets for 2020 Cheltenham Festival and there’s plenty designed to catch the attention of backers. The earlier you get your stake money down on your runner of choice, the better the price should be. As we near race month, the casual cash will begin to flood in and prices will be cut across the board.
Antepost betting is a real favourite of many backers due to the fact it gives higher than usual odds, but it is not without its risks. When betting antepost you are picking a horse to win a race before its involvement has been confirmed. If you invest your stake and the pick decides to enter a different race, suffers an injury or sidesteps the festival entirely, you will lose your money, all without even getting a run.
You can wait for bookies to offer non-runner no bet, but the odds offered by then will be shorter than they are now. With antepost you are gambling on two outcomes. Firstly, the horse to be entered into the race you expect it to win and, secondly, the horse to live up to expectations and win the race. Below you’ll find a check on the current Stayers Hurdle 2020 betting with a list of favourites reviewed. Prices are correct at the time of publishing but please remember odds are subject to change and will do between now and the field approaching the tape.
Paisley Park (5/2)
Paisley Park Stayers Hurdle favourite. A real fans favourite and he will appear in a fair share of betting slips this March, regardless of the race he runs in. We say that because Paisley Park is quoted in a few Cheltenham Festival races at present and it’s not clear which direction handlers will send him. They will decide on which event goes their runner the best chance of winning the most prize money but there’s no doubt the Stayers Hurdle will feature highly on their list.
If Paisley Park does run in this race, he will be a convincing favourite, shorter than the 5/2 currently being offered by bet365. That’s market best price at the time of writing and if you decide to follow, our advice would be to take advantage of the generosity shown by bet365 traders as some firms are as tight as 2/1 on the same bet. If the seven-year-old gelding runs to the best of his ability there’s no doubting he will win this race with a bit to spare.
The jolly went into this season with stats reading six wins and three runner-up spots from 10 outings. The spare on his record was a 13th in March 2018 in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. Excuses can be made for that run, but the important point is he had no trouble bouncing back to form. Paisley Park was seen winning this very race 12 months ago off an SP 11/8. The champion held on to beat Sam Spinner by just shy of three lengths. Fancy the double?
Benie Des Dieux (10/1)
Benie Des Dieux is rated as the main danger to Paisley Park’s successful defence, according to bookmakers and they have priced her as second favourite. There’s quite a difference in price, however, and if this race follows the thing of those camped on the trading floors of major bookmakers it will turn out to be an easy win for the jolly before the race is on to finish as best of the rest. It’s difficult to argue against that stance but anyone who has bet on the Cheltenham Festival in the past will confirm we can take nothing for granted in Gloucestershire.
The fact Paisley Park is 5/2 and we then have Benie Des Dieux chalked up as a 10/1 second favourite with William Hill tells the story of how odds-makers expect this race to pan out. That’s very interesting indeed and if you are happy enough to take on the jolly, expecting him to lose or be entered into a different race, then there’s real value at your fingertips when betting on the Stayers Hurdle. William Hill are 10/1 on Benie Des Dieux but that’s head and shoulders above the rest. Most rivals are much closer to the 6/1 mark. That’s probably accurate but you wouldn’t want to oppose Paisley Park with a 6/1 shot when you could get on at 10/1. That would be very foolish indeed. Get the best price possible on every bet you place at the festival.
French bred Benie Des Dieux is an eight-year-old mare trained by Mrs Ricci and went into the season with career stats reading six wins from seven starts. She fell at Cheltenham last year when contesting the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle and that was a bitter disappointment as she was three lengths clear and speeding towards the line at the time of coming down. We’ll never know what would have happened that day has she stayed on her feet, but we can guess she would have won comfortably. The team have unfinished business at Cheltenham and punters will be happy to stick with her.
If The Cap Fits (12/1)
If The Cap Fits is third in line when sorting through the antepost betting at this stage. Bookmakers are keen not to overlook the chances of this prospect, but they believe it would take a career best performance to get anywhere near challenging Paisley Park and winning the race. That may be true but If The Cap fits is seen as a horse moving in the right direction, and quite quickly at that. Him winning the Stayers Hurdle certainly wouldn’t be the biggest upset we’ve ever seen at the Cheltenham Festival, would it?
The seven-year-old gelding is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney and started the 2019/20 national hunt season with seven wins from 11 starts, placing in the top three on another three occasions. He made a winning debut at Plumpton in November 2016 and has done nothing but progress and impress since. Five wins in his first six starts propelled him towards the big races with the chunky prize pots and he held his own in better company.
If The Cap fits ended last season with a win around Aintree in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle on 6 April. He was sent off a 7/1 shot that day but performed much better than this odds said he would, winning the race by a head ahead of runner-up Roksana for Harry Skelton. It was a battling performance and if he shows the same kind of fight in March he will be knocking on the door of the biggest win of his career. Worth a second look at 12/1 with William Hill. There’s just enough there to interest each-way backers.
Will this runner live up to his name and become the champ of Cheltenham on Thursday by winning the Stayers Hurdle. Odds compilers don’t believe so but they know all too well he’s too good to put a line through his chances. Champ has been given the respect he deserves and there’s no more available than the 14/1 sent out by William Hill, easier to back than the 10/1 at other bookies.
The JP McManus owned seven-year-old gelding is trained by Nicky Henderson and that’s quite a team. If they send Champ into the Stayers Hurdle you can be sure it will be with the aim of winning the race. They don’t enter a contest lightly, especially at this level. Champ has never finished outside of the top two in 10 starts, winning seven times and placing second on three occasions.
Check out our Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide for the list of TOP 15 betting sites to place a bet on upcoming Festival.
Race Stats & Trends
- The most successful horse to compete in the Stayers Hurdle since it was changed to its current form in 1972 is Bug Bucks and that’s by quite some distance too. The racing legend is one of the biggest names to compete in the sport for many years and his list of achievements includes no less than four Stayers Hurdle title. He landed his first in 2009 and then won each of the next three runnings, 2010, 2011 and 2012. It’s unlikely that incredible achievement will ever be surpassed.
- Leading jockey is Ruby Walsh who has sat on five previous champions. Big Bucks played a huge part in that success, of course, with Walsh on board for each of those four wins. The jockey added another when steering Nichols Canyon to the winner’s enclosure in 2017. Five titles in nine years is simply stunning.
- Leading trainer prize is in the possession of Paul Nicholls and that will come as no surprise to those who have followed this event over the years. The famed trainer has sent out four champions and, once again, there’s no getting away from Big Bucks. Nicholls trained Big Bucks in each of his title winning years.
- Leading owner is a dead heat between The Steward Family who owned Big Bucks during the glory years and Andrea and Graham Wylie. Each team have four titles each. Inglis Drever won three times for Andrea and Graham Wylie with Nichols Canyon bringing them on a par with the Stewart Family.
- Age is often important when it comes to the trends and the Stayers Hurdle is no different. Interestingly, a seven-year-old has won each of the last three outings and that’s worth keeping in mind when placing your bets. Nichols Canyon, Penhill and Paisley Park were all seven years old when scoring and, of course, one of the Big Bucks wins came when he was seven. At the time of writing, antepost favourite for this year’s renewal, Paisley Park, is also seven years old. That will only encourage casual backers to plough their money on.
Stayers Hurdle Betting Offers
Offering early betting odds on the Cheltenham Festival and giving customers competitive prices is no longer enough to tempt us into sticking with one firm over another. There’s no such thing as customer loyalty anymore, not when it comes to online betting.
Therefore, all major firms have been drawn into a promotions war, bidding to give customers and potential customers the best deal possible. They strive to stand out from the crowd by laying out the most generous Stayers Hurdle offers, aimed at catching your eye.
A list of the best available Cheltenham Festival and Stayers Hurdle promotions will be posted as the Festival approaches and all bookies unveil their offers. Some of the deals you can expect to find include money back if your horse falls, stakes refunded as a free bet if your pick finishes second behind the SP favourite, extra places each-way, enhanced odds, free bets for winners and plenty more besides. Do your homework and get the Cheltenham Festival deal you deserve.
Stayers Hurdle Betting Guide
Below you’ll find hints, tips and advice on how to handle your gambling in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival. Keep this betting guide close and refer back every time you prepare to bet on the festival. The points here are designed to help you beat the bookies and grab a profit.
Do Your Research
Research is key when attempting to profit from the festival. You can put your trust in a proven tipster website, blindly following their Stayers Hurdle tips, or you can do the work yourself. Read as much as you can on the race, including reviews of last year, previews, interviews, reports and newspaper columns. The more the better.
Look For Promotions
Promotions are offered by all major bookmakers in the run up to Cheltenham and the closer we get to the off the more you’ll find. This is also the case with the Stayers Hurdle. Promos you can expect to find include free bets, welcome bonuses, money back for fallers, accumulator boosts, enhanced odds and extra places each-way.
Enjoy Perks of Antepost Market
Antepost betting allows punters the chance to beat the rush and get in early to secure a better price on their chosen horse than the one that will be offered to backers waiting until the day of the race to gamble. The risks associated with antepost gambling include the threat of losing your stake if the horse backed doesn’t run in the race you tipped it to win. If it runs in a different race or misses the festival completely you won’t receive your cash back unless you took the non-runner money back promotion.
Get Access to Live Streaming
Live streaming on horse racing is available at the top betting firms. This feature allows members to watch the racing, including Cheltenham, on an HD quality stream with perfect audio and expert commentary. This can be done through your desktop computer, mobile app or tablet device all at no extra cost. If you have placed a bet on the outcome of a race you are entitled to watch for free.
Stayers Hurdle Past Winners
Below you’ll find a list of the last 10 winners of the Cheltenham Festival Stayers Hurdle. This information could prove invaluable when picking your Stayers Hurdle winners for 2020, especially if placing your trust in the trends.
- Paisley Park – 2019
- Penhill – 2018
- Nichols Canyon – 2017
- Thistlecrack – 2016
- Cole Harden – 2015
- More of That – 2014
- Solwhit – 2013
- Big Bucks – 2012
- Big Bucks – 2011
- Big Bucks – 2010
What Happened in 2019?
Looking back on the 2019 running of the Stayers Hurdle and we had an emphatic winner in Paisley Park. The popular fifth win on the spin when collecting this trophy 12 months ago and it came as little surprise to those betting on the race.
The Andrew Gemmill owned star dominated the antepost betting after it was announced he would run in the Stayers Hurdle and he continued to attract the stakes of shrewd backers right up until the off. Paisley Park went to the tape on Thursday 14 March 2019 with an 11/8 SP attached and to say he lived up to the billing would be an understatement.
Aidan Coleman was booked to ride, and he played his part in what was an impressive winning performance. The duo beat runner-up Sam Spinner by 2 ¾ lengths and was pulling away from the field at the finish. Coleman gave his mount a patient ride before delivering him off the last bend. The most striking aspect of the performance was the way Paisley Park was asked for more following a late mistake and was only too keen to deliver.
When going through the gears there was only ever going to be one winner and the race was on for the major places. Sam Spinner beat Faugheen in third by three lengths. Bapaume crossed the line in fourth carrying the weight of a 16/1 price tag but was found wanting for pace when it mattered.
Stayers Hurdle Key Trials
Trial races for the Stayers Hurdle and other Cheltenham Festival 2019 events will be held between now and March. This is a great way for punters to check on the main runners and riders as we approach the Prestbury Park showpiece. Check how the main players are performing over course and distance. Below you’ll find a list of key trials that will be updated as and when the results come.
Upcoming Stayers Hurdle Trials
- Long Distance Hurdle – 29th November 2019
- Long Walk Hurdle – 21st December 2019
- Cleeve Hurdle – 25th January 2020