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Cheltenham: The Stayers' Hurdle - Horse Racing: All You Need To Know

For four days in mid-March, the Cotswolds is the eye of the sporting world as the best jumps horses from across Britain and Ireland (and sometimes France) come together to fight it out for the most sought-after prizes in racing.

We've got a guide to all four Championship races at Cheltenham – find out all you need to know about the Stayers’ Hurdle here.

WATCH: Emma Lavelle discusses the highs and lows of Paisley Park's career

When is the Stayers’ Hurdle?

The Stayers’ Hurdle is one of two feature races on day three of the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place at Prestbury Park in the picturesque Gloucestershire countryside each year in mid-March. The 2022 Stayers’ Hurdle is set for 15:05 on Thursday 17th March.

Where can I watch the Stayers’ Hurdle?

If you're not lucky enough to be trackside in the Cotswolds, the Stayers’ Hurdle is shown live on terrestrial television in Britain via ITV Racing, part of their coverage of all four days of the Cheltenham Festival. You can also catch it on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

What is the Stayers’ Hurdle?

The Stayers’ Hurdle is considered the leading race long distance hurdle event in Britain and Ireland. It is a Grade 1 race and the most prestigious of its type run in the season.

It is open to horses aged four years or older and is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of 3m. There are 12 obstacles to be jumped in the race and it is the ultimate test of a horse's stamina over hurdles.

Which horse has won the most Stayers’ Hurdles?

The greatest staying hurdler in racing history, the legendary Big Buck’s won the Stayers’ four years on the bounce between 2009 and 2012. Prior to that, Inglis Drever held the record with three successes in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Which trainer has won the most Stayers’ Hurdles?

Despite only training one winner, compared to contemporaries Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and Jonjo O’Neill, who each trained two winners of the Stayers’ Hurdle, Paul Nicholls had Big Buck’s in his yard for his four straight wins and is the most successful trainer in the race’s history.

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Which jockey has won the most Stayers’ Hurdles?

Ruby Walsh was lucky enough to be in the saddle for Big Buck’s’ four victories, then broke his own record with a fifth success in the race with 10/1 Nichols Canyon in 2017.

Which owner has won the most Stayers’ Hurdles?

The Stewart Family, owners of Big Buck’s, have four wins in the race, while Andrea and Graham Wylie had three each with Inglis Drever before registering a fourth with Nichols Canyon.

Lisnagar Oscar pulled off the biggest upset in the race’s history in 2020, getting home at 50/1. Paisley Park was many people’s NAP of the Festival that year and went off 4/6f, but finished a distant 7th, a good 14 lengths behind the winner.

Who are the five most recent winners?

YearHorseJockeyTrainerOwnerSP
2017

Nichols Canyon

Ruby Walsh

Willie Mullins

Andrea and Graham Wylie10/1
2018PenhillPaul TownendWillie MullinsTony Bloom12/1
2019Paisley ParkAidan ColemanEmma LavelleAndrew Gemmell11/8f
2020Lisnagar OscarAdam WedgeRebecca CurtisRacing For Fun50/1
2021Flooring PorterDanny MullinsGavin CromwellFlooring Porter Syndicate12/1

Who are the contenders for the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2022?

Flooring Porter is currently 5/1 for a second straight success, but punters may be put off by his form since winning last year’s race. He was pulled up at Punchestown a month later and fell at Navan in November. More encouragingly, he did finish second at Leopardstown last month, but that was behind Klassical Dream, who’s the current favourite at 2/1.

The Mullins-trained gelding won both starts over three miles in 2021 on yielding and soft ground in Ireland and looks the horse to beat.

After being pulled up during last year’s Gold Cup, Champ has taken on hurdles again, winning over 3m½f at Ascot in December, looking good value for his victory over Thyme Hill. The Henderson-trained 10-year-old is 7/2, while Thyme Hill is 5/1.

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