Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle Preview
Some see the Stayers Hurdle as a weak division and that is probably right at this moment. However, at the festival this season we could see a new star emerge and take the division by storm. We have already seen some impressive performances this season from Paisley Park, and if he does it at Cheltenham then he has the chance to dominate this division for years to come.
The seven year old has won all four of his starts so far this season, winning two handicaps, a Grade One and then a Grade Two at this course last time out. He had many of his rivals in behind him on that occasion, and won the race going away by 12 lengths so it will take a huge turnaround for any of those horses to come out and reverse the form.
He appeared to thrive coming up the hill and after being nudged along as the race got going, he stormed up the hill past beaten rivals in the style of a true stayer. We also have to remember that this is a horse who has had just nine races going into the festival this year, and there is a chance that he is still learning and improving. That is why I think if he wins this race this season, he will dominate things for the next couple of seasons, the door is open for someone to dominate and I think he is the one to do that.
The main danger, and something that would create a huge story, would be a win for Faugheen from the Willie Mullins yard. The likeable 11 year old is a former Champion Hurdle winner and racing fans would love to see him win at the festival again. He had slowed down in his old age, but looks a stayer and certainly has the class to get involved here.
Elsewhere, Black Op finished behind Paisley Park when they met at Cheltenham in January, but that was his first run back over hurdles and I think he can come on a bit for that. He had ran over fences twice before that this season, but failed to show any kind of spark. He is a big price as an each way alternative to the favourite, and he has some form in the book from last season that gives him a big chance in this.
Stayers Hurdle Betting Tips
- Paisley Park to win @ 6/4 (10Bet)
- Black Op EW @ 10/1 (10Bet)
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