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 and will be sponsored for the second year running by SunBets.
The present format of the contest was first run in 1972, and after being known as the Ladbrokes World Hurdle from 2005 the race returned to it’s original name - the Stayers’ Hurdle – in 2017.
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 2016 we saw the classy Thistlecrack romp to victory, but with that horse now heading for the Cheltenham Gold Cup it paved the way for a new champion in 2017 and that horse was the Willie Mullins-trained Nichols Canyon, who beat Lil Rockerfeller and Unowhatimeanharry into second and third.
Did you know - 13 of the last 15 Stayer's Hurdle winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out?
However, this horse sadly suffered a fatal fall over Christmas at Leopardstown so once again we will be looking at a new champion of the race.
At this stage the improving Sam Spinner, who was a gutsy winner of the Long Walk Hurdle in December. That Ascot race is often a good guide ahead of the Stayers’ Hurdle so everything looks in place for this Jedd O’Keefe-trained runner to go well, while last season's Coral Cup winner - Supasundae - is another that is sure to be popular after beating Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle recently.
Here at TRAINERS-QUOTES we look back at recent Stayers’ Hurdle winners and give you the key stats to take into the 2018 renewal – this year run on 15th March 2017.
Recent Stayers’ Hurdle Winners
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
13/15 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
13/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/15 – Had raced within the last 10 weeks
12/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/15 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) before
12/15 – Went onto run at the Aintree Grand National Meeting later that season
12/15 – Aged 8 or younger
12/15 – Placed favourites
11/15 – Winning distance – 2 1/2 lengths or less
10/15 – Had won over hurdles at Cheltenham before
10/15 – Won their latest race
11/15 – Had raced that calendar year
9/15 – Rated 163 or higher
9/15 – Contested either the Cleeve Hurdle (6) or the Long Walk Hurdle (3) last time out
7/15 – French-bred
7/15 – Went onto win at Aintree later that season
6/15 – Winning favourite
4/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
5/15 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
2/15 – Irish-trained winners
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 5/1
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 19 from 23
Horses that were placed fourth or better last time out have won 29 of the last 30 renewals
The top five in the betting have finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in 7 of the last 14 renewals
Just two Irish-trained winners since 1996 – Solwhit (2013), Nichols Canyon (2017)
All of the last 30 winners were aged 9 or younger
16/20 – British-trained winners
2/20 – French-trained winners
2/20 – Irish-trained winners
Willie Mullins (Ire) has trained just 1 winner of the race (2017, Nichols Canyon)
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained just 1 winner of the race (2000, Bacchanal)
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 4 of the last 9 winners
Jonjo O’Neill (UK has trained 2 of the last 14 winners
Ruby Walsh has ridden 5 of the last 9 winners
BEST BET: SUPASUNDAE
BEST OF THE REST: L'AMI SERGE