Stayers' Hurdle Runners Guide: Paisley Park heads a classy field

Stayers' Hurdle Runners Guide: Paisley Park is favourite to regain his Cheltenham crown.
Stayers' Hurdle Runners Guide: Paisley Park is favourite to regain his Cheltenham crown.

Check out our Stayers' Hurdle Runners Guide, where Paisley Park tops a field of 15 runners on day three of the Cheltenham Festival...

1. Bacardys

A decent hurdler, who is the sole runner for Willie Mullins, who was a fine third in last year's Stayers' Hurdle. However, he's failed to shine this year as was fourth in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle before a below-par run at Christmas saw him pull up at Leopardstown. Last seen finishing fifth in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park at the end of January means he lines up needing to bounce back.

Stayers' Hurdle
Bacardys silk

Bacardys

lost

2. Beacon Edge

A lightly-raced seven-year-old who started this season with a disappointing third place finish in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas at the end of January. Noel Meade's charge launched back to form last time out, however, as he edged out Fury Road in a thrilling renewal of the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle, and a repeat of that should see him battle it out for a place.

Stayers' Hurdle
Beacon Edge silk

Beacon Edge

lost

3. Flooring Porter

A hugely progressive six-year-old that has soared through the handicap sphere to become a leading light in Graded company. A sensational 12-length victory in a competitive-looking handicap hurdle at Navan catapulted him into Graded company, and he showed his class when winning the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December. Fascinating contender, who is open to more improvement.

Stayers' Hurdle
Flooring Porter silk

Flooring Porter

won

4. Fury Road

Showed his class when finishing third in last season's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Started this season with a comfortable Grade 2 success at Punchestown, but was well beaten in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, when sent off favourite. Edged out by Beacon Edge in the Boyne Hurdle last time out, but will fancy reversing that form on his return to Prestbury Park. Lively player.

Stayers' Hurdle
Fury Road silk

Fury Road

Pulled Up
Cheltenham Festival Tips

5. If The Cap Fits

A former Grade 1 winner of the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree in 2019, but has failed to kick on from that success at the Grand National meeting. Has been seen running over fences all season, which has brought one win in four outings, so a return to hurdles could see him at his best. His last run over hurdles saw him finish fifth in the 2020 Cleeve Hurdle, but is one that will relish this trip, so has to be respected.

Stayers' Hurdle
If The Cap Fits silk

If The Cap Fits

lost

6. Lil Rockerfeller

Neil King's veteran has been a mainstay of the National Hunt season for the last few years and has picked up some notable victories throughout his career. However, his last win over timber came over three years ago, and while he will leave it all on the track looks to face an uphill battle to down some classier rivals. His warm-up for this event saw him just touched off by On The Blind Side at Market Rasen in January.

Stayers' Hurdle
Lil Rockerfeller silk

Lil Rockerfeller

Pulled Up

7. Lisnagar Oscar

Caused a shock when winning this at 50/1 last year, but has failed to get his head in front since. The Rebecca Curtis-trained raider was last seen finishing second in the Rendlesham Hurdle, which should put him right for this, and a return to Cheltenham should see him at his best. A double-figured price to strike once again on Thursday, but has to be respected after last year's showing.

Stayers' Hurdle
Lisnagar Oscar silk

Lisnagar Oscar

Fell

8. Main Fact

Racked up a spectactular nine-race winning streak in the first half of the season on the Flat and over hurdles, as he rocketed up the handicap. David Pipe's charge has struggled since stepping up in class and was a distant seventh of eight in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. Was last seen finishing fourth in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock and will now make his first trip to Cheltenham for the Stayers' Hurdle.

Stayers' Hurdle
Main Fact silk

Main Fact

Pulled Up

9. Paisley Park

A fine winner of the 2019 Stayers' Hurdle, who has become one of the star stayers in training. Failed to follow up in last year's Stayers, when well beaten by Lisnagar Oscar, but has shown to be in top form this season with some sparkling runs. Was just touched off by Thyme Hill in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, but reversed that form when winning the Long Walk as Ascot. Proven at the track (won three times) and has to be the one to beat.

Stayers' Hurdle
Paisley Park silk

Paisley Park

placed

10. Reserve Tank

A dual Grade 1-winning novice hurdler, who has failed to kick on from fine wins in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree and at the Punchestown Festival. Sent over fences by Colin Tizzard and won the Rising Stars at Wincanton, but has struggled over the larger obstacles and a return to hurdles is the plan to try and recapture his best form. Was last seen finishing fifth in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell, so has to improve immeasurably on that effort.

Stayers' Hurdle
Reserve Tank silk

Reserve Tank

Pulled Up

11. Sam Spinner

Finished fifth in the 2018 Stayers' Hurdle when sent off favourite, but improved on that when second to Paisley Park in the 2019 renewal. Has been seen competing over fences this season, and he's won three of his four outings over the larger obstacles, but return to hurdles in the Long Distance Hurdle, but was last of ten. A huge price to score on Thursday afternoon, but has shown he can deliver in this race, so could be a lively each-way player.

Stayers' Hurdle
Sam Spinner silk

Sam Spinner

Pulled Up

12. Sire Du Berlais

Dual Pertemps Final winner that has stepped into Graded company with aplomb. Kicked off this season with a Grade 2 win in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan, but suffered defeat to Flooring Porter in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and will be looking to reverse that form here. Has been a revelation when lining up at Cheltenham in March, so has to be a huge player and could be the biggest thorn in Paisley Park's side.

Stayers' Hurdle
Sire Du Berlais silk

Sire Du Berlais

placed

13. The Storyteller

Smart performer over hurdles and fences, who finished second to Sire Du Berlais in last season's Pertemps Final. Won the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase earlier in the season, and followed that up by chasing home Flooring Porter in Grade 1 company over hurdles. The ten-year-old was last seen finishing second in the Irish Gold Cup, but returns to hurdles again for this test, and is a fascinating contender for Denise Foster.

Stayers' Hurdle
The Storyteller silk

The Storyteller

lost

14. Vinndication

Not seen over hurdles since 2018, but has run some decent races over fences the last few seasons. Kim Bailey's charge was fifth in the 2019 JLT, while went one better when fourth in last season's Ultima Handicap Chase. Chased home Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October, but fell in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on his last outing, so a return to hurdles is in order to try and boost his confidence. Has to be thereabouts if relishing the return to hurdles.

Stayers' Hurdle
Vinndication silk

Vinndication

lost

15. Younevercall

A Grade 2 winner over hurdles, who finished a creditable fourth behind Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December. Failed to fire when pulling up in the rearranged Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton in January, so has to improve significantly to play any sort of role here. Tough ask and is rightly a big price for glory.

Stayers' Hurdle
Younevercall silk

Younevercall

lost
Cheltenham Gold Cup
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