Stayers' Hurdle 2021 Antepost Betting Tips
The Cheltenham Festival is now looming on the horizon and the Stayers' Hurdle has a wide-open look about it as former winner Paisley Park plots a return to try and regain the crown he lost last March.
Stayers' Hurdle Betting Odds
A year ago the Stayers' Hurdle was a one-horse show with Emma Lavelle's Paisley Park racking up the wins and odds-on to retain his crown at Cheltenham. He shed the crown with a tame run (mitigated by a fibrillating heart) as Lisnagar Oscar pounced to record a shock 50/1 Festival success.
As the countdown to Cheltenham starts to ramp up, Paisley Park has just about regained favouritism to take his crown back though he's as big as 3/1 in many places now.
The reigning champion meanwhile is a 25/1 after wide-margin defeats at Wetherby and Newbury in two starts before Christmas.
The new challenger is Thyme Hill for Philip Hobbs. He won the aforementioned Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in good style in November and lost out by the slenderest of margins to Paisley Park at Ascot in December. The duo dominate the betting and rightly so.
Stayers' Hurdle Best Bet
He had a valid excuse for his defeat in the Cotswolds last March and he lost little caste in defeat at Newbury on his return when attempting to concede weight to Thyme Hill but Paisley Park duly returned to winning ways in the Long Walk at Ascot before Christmas, rallying after the final flight on testing ground to edge out his Newbury conqueror by a neck.
He's the proven package in this discipline and must have standout claims of regaining this mantle on March 11th. He has just turned nine-years-old and remains relatively low-mileage.
With the heart-scare of last year seemingly a one-off, he can emulate the likes of Sprinter Sacre and Denman in recovering from just that sort of setback before returning to the very top. Andrew Gemmell's star remains very much the one they all have to worry about in this division.
Stayers' Hurdle Long Shot
He isn't owned by one of Willie Mullins' powerhouse owners and, maybe for that reason, Bacardys often goes under the radar. He's been quite a servant for the Shanakiel Racing Syndicate however and picked up place money when finishing third in the Stayers' Hurdle last season behind Lisnagar Oscar.
He was a Grade 2 bumper winner and twice recorded top-level successes as a novice over timber in the spring of 2017. He has only notched one further success, defeating Apple's Jade to land Navan's Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle last season. He was then behind that mare and Honeysuckle afterwards before his Cheltenham third in this race.
His Hatton's Grace fourth behind Honeysuckle in November was a solid comeback effort before he was pulled up at Leopardstown over Christmas. Don't write him off on that one poor effort. He was 33/1 when placed last March and could have similar aspirations this time around - and he's currently a bigger price.
Stayers' Hurdle Prediction
A perceived duel between Paisley Park and Thyme Hill shouldn't be assumed. They landed two of the main trials, of course, but plenty of water must pass under the bridge before they can fight it out for the Championship crown.
The younger horse is certainly up and coming, and commands a lot of respect, while Paisley Park is a darling of the racing public and looks certain to mount a bold bid to regain this mantle.
The mare Roksana, already a Cheltenham Festival Grade 1 winner, was within two-lengths of the pair at Ascot in December.
Dan Skelton's charge began her campaign with a decisive Grade 2 success at Wetherby and it's also recalled she went perilously close to an Aintree Grade 1 in the spring of 2019 following her (fortuitous) Mares' Hurdle win.
She's far from exposed as a three-miler and the heavy ground at Ascot in December probably wasn't a plus for her. The Skelton team are having a fine season and Roksana is a key player in the Stayers' Hurdle picture.
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Stayers' Hurdle 2021 Antepost Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Stayers' Hurdle favourite?
What is our recommended bet?
What day at Cheltenham is the Stayers' Hurdle on?
Thursday, 11th March.A
What is the distance for the Stayers' Hurdle?
2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards.A
What is the prize purse for the Stayers' Hurdle?
Who won the Stayers' Hurdle last year?