Long Walk Hurdle 2021 Odds & Runners Guide: 11 entered for Ascot Grade 1 prize

Long Walk Hurdle Odds: Thyme Hill is entered for the Ascot feature on Saturday.
Long Walk Hurdle Odds: Thyme Hill is entered for the Ascot feature on Saturday.

Eleven horses have been entered for the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle in what is one of the premier trials for the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and we look at the latest odds here...

Paisley Park and Thyme Hill fought out a thrilling finale to last season's Long Walk Hurdle, and the pair are among the 11 entries for the 2021 renewal, which will take centre stage at Ascot on Saturday afternoon. It was the aforementioned Paisley Park that came out on top that day, and he added that success to his 2018 victory, but having been below par this season he's as big as 8/1 to make it three wins in the Grade 1 event.

Thyme Hill ended last season with a superb victory in the Liverpool Stayers' Hurdle at the Grand National meeting to show that he is a true Grade 1 performer for Philip Hobbs, and he's available at 5/2 to go one better than last year. A disappointing comeback run saw him finish fifth at Auteuil, but a return to British shores should see him at his very best, and he's sure to improve for that comeback run in France, and has to be one of the leading players.

Currently heading the betting around the 13/8 mark is the Nicky Henderson-trained Buzz, who ended the Flat season with a sensational victory in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, and he showed his class over timber next time out by storming to victory in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot. Beating Song For Someone that day, the form has been franked with Song For Someone running a huge race in Saturday's International Hurdle at Cheltenham, and Buzz looks to be a really progressive staying hurdler for the Seven Barrows team. He will step up to three miles for this contest, but he was not stopping that day at Ascot over 2m 4f, so he has to be a leading player here in what is an intriguing renewal.

Olly Murphy's Thomas Darby launched his name into the Stayers' Hurdle picture at the Cheltenham Festival in March by landing a fine win in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, and if he can show that performance wasn't a flash in the pan then he could be a solid each-way player at 8/1 with the bookmakers.

While all eyes will be on Buzz from the Henderson yard, there could be another eye-catching runner from the same team as Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Champ could have a spin over hurdles ahead of a spring campaign over fences. The 2020 RSA Chase hero was last seen pulling up in the Gold Cup in March - and that will be the target again this season - but Henderson wants to get a run into him, and a run over hurdles could be the starting point. A real class act, Champ is around a 5-6/1 chance for this event, and he will be a fascinating contender, if taking his chance.

On The Blind Side (12/1) is the third and final entry from team Henderson, but he looks to be the least likely of the Seven Barrows triumvirate to figure here, while one that could be another offering each-way value is former Stayers' Hurdle runner-up Ronald Pump (8/1), who chased home Lisnagar Oscar (25/1) that day at Cheltenham two years ago, and Matthew Smith's stable star can add more depth to a fascinating renewal.

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