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2019 Stayers' Hurdle tips - Ante-post preview and three tips for St Patrick’s day feature

Jonathan Vine in Tips 12 Dec 2018
A view of the field as they jump a hurdle at Cheltenham.

Our expert takes a look through the early ante-post betting for the Stayers’ Hurdle and highlights three horses for punters to back in the main event on day three of 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

St. Patrick’s day at the Cheltenham Festival is always a wonderful occasion and Thursday’s card is headlined by the oldest championship race of the meeting - the Stayers’ Hurdle. First staged at Prestbury Park in 1912, the honours board for the Stayers’ Hurdle reads like a who's who of long distance hurdling, with the names of Silver Bay, Baracouda, Inglis Drever and Big Bucks catching the eye.

There may be some way to go before the middle week of March, but the betting for the Stayers’ Hurdle is already starting to hot up. Our expert takes a look through the ante-post market and highlights three horses who could be worthy of a wager.

2019 Stayers' Hurdle Tips

👑 The One To Beat 👑

Willie Mullins performed a minor miracle at Cheltenham last season. Despite spending the entire campaign on the sidelines, the County Carlow maestro got PENHILL fit enough to not only compete in, but win the Stayers’ Hurdle. Paul Townend settled his mount down at the rear of the field, swooping around the outside of the pack at the bottom of the hill and holding off Supasundae after the last to clinch a famous win.

That was Penhill’s second victory at the Festival in as many years, having powered to victory in the Albert Bartlett the season before. Mullins turned his dual-Cheltenham winner out again at the season-ending Festival at Punchestown, but he found one rival far too good and had to settle for second.

I’d be surprised if Mullins didn’t use the same tactics as last year and ensure Penhill is nice and fresh when he returns to Cheltenham. The son of Mount Nelson is two from two over course-and-distance. He’ll be the one to beat when he tries to make it a hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival triumphs in the spring.


I suppose no news is good news if you're a Penhill fan. I doubt we'll see him before the Stayers' Hurdle and, with no rivals staking a claim during the autumn months of the season, he remains the best ante-post bet.
⚠️ The Big Danger ⚠️

Penhill was the 2/1 favourite when he lined up at Punchestown and there were few in the crowd who could have predicted what would happen next. On his first start over three miles since 2013, FAUGHEEN rolled back the years and put the field to the sword, scorching clear of his rivals to record an emphatic 13-length victory.

The racing world rejoiced when Faugheen made his long-awaited return at the start of last season and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat when securing an impressive win in the Morgiana. Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci then looked on as their stable star was pulled up at Leopardstown, beaten in the Irish Champion Hurdle by Supasundae and dropped out the back of the pack in the Champion Hurdle. Yet, their faith was rewarded at the end of the season, as the Faugheen we all know and love bounced back with a vengeance.

There have been rumours during the summer that Faugheen will be given a look at fences this term, but I would be amazed if Mullins even entertained thoughts of novice chasing. Three mile hurdling will surely be the team’s direction and it’s no surprise to see “the machine” topping the current ante-post betting.

FAUGHEEN - Originally tipped at 6/1


Faugheen's price took a tumble after he was beaten by Sharjah in the Morgiana Hurdle on his reappearance. Yet, I'm not exactly sure why, as we know Mullins' star doesn't have the pace for two miles any more and it was a good way to dust off the cobwebs. I expect he will be pushed up to three miles at Leopardstown, which should put "the machine" in a good place come the spring.
♞ The Dark Horse ♞

With Willie Mullins boasting a very strong hand, you can bet Gordon Elliott will be out to ensure his Irish rival doesn’t have everything his own way on St. Patrick's Day. Elliott said in a recent stable tour that the Stayers’ Hurdle is an option for Apple’s Jade, but it’s another of his Gigginstown horses who appeals most to me in the betting.

All eyes were on Apple’s Shakira before the 2018 Triumph Hurdle. Yet, it was FARCLAS who stole the headlines, fighting his way to the front under Jack Kennedy and staying on really nicely to hand Elliott a second Triumph. Farclas couldn't repeat the trick at Punchestown, but that was a Festival full of strange results and weird performances, so Elliott won’t linger on that defeat for long.

Gordon Elliott’s only other Triumph winner, Tiger Roll was immediately stepped up in trip and I can see Farclas being taken down the same road - he responded so well for pressure and powered right through the line at Cheltenham, suggesting he would easily get further than 17 furlongs. If he has progressed and matured during the summer, the Stayer’s Hurdle will surely be his Cheltenham Festival target and he's a proven winner on the grandest stage of them all.


Elliott handed Farclas a tough reappearance mission in the Hatton's Grace and it was no surprise to see the former Triumph winner beaten out of sight. He did, however, plug on down the home straight to see out the two-and-a-half-mile trip and juveniles often take a few runs to come to hand during their second season. The signs all look positive!

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2019 Stayers' Hurdle tips - Ante-post preview and three tips for St Patrick’s day feature

Our expert takes a look through the early ante-post betting for the Stayers’ Hurdle and highlights three horses for punters to back in the main event on day three of 2019 Cheltenham Festival on Thursday 14th March.

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