Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 1
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 2
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 3
  • Cheltenham Festival Day 4

Stayers' Hurdle Tips 2020: Paisley can complete a double

Paisley Park is bidding to win the Stayers' Hurdle for the second year running.
Paisley Park is bidding to win the Stayers' Hurdle for the second year running.

Lewis Tomlinson previews Thursday’s Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle, the feature race on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival, which is headlined Paisley Park’s bid to win the race for the second year running…

The banker of the meeting.

If this famous, sometimes cursed, moniker was to be applied to any horse at the Cheltenham Festival, it would surely be Paisley Park. The cornerstone of so many accumulators and multiples, he has cemented his position as the undisputed king of the staying hurdling division so far this term. He just can’t lose, can he?

The short answer is that he shouldn’t. A flawless seven wins in a row have propelled him to a tier of his own amongst this fairly rag-tag bunch of long-distance hurdlers, and it would surely take a clear career-best effort from any of his rivals to dethrone the reigning champion. The power with which he comes up the Cheltenham hill has been unmatched in his three course victories over the past two seasons, and after a lighter campaign this time around, his position as the Festival’s shortest-priced favourite at the time of writing looks well and truly justified. 

If there was ever going to be a way to beat Paisley Park, the ride Johnny Burke gave Summerville Boy in the Cleeve Hurdle here in January would surely form the blueprint for how to do so, when Burke attempted to utilise the former Supreme winner’s superior turn of pace from the front when Paisley Park was hitting his customary flat spot around the turn for home. Despite the move eventually proving futile, Summerville Boy position as the second pick in the market looks warranted. His win in the Relkeel Hurdle over two and a half miles here on New Year’s Day is probably the best piece of form produced by a horse named anything other than Paisley Park that we’ve seen in this sphere this season, and after a period in the wilderness, his reinvention as a staying hurdler looks to have been a masterstroke from Tom George.

Like Summerville Boy, last year’s Ballymore Novices' Hurdle winner City Island returns to the scene of his greatest success after an underwhelming start to his chasing career, and he looks a very hard horse to assess nowadays. The form of his Ballymore win reads well - it could look even better by the time this race goes off if Champ wins the RSA Chase - but that single effort is a good deal better than anything he had produced either side of it, and it would surely take a huge leap of faith to trust him to regain his best form in what will be his first try ini a Grade 1 race of this nature.

Such is Paisley Park’s dominance in this sphere, that it feels like he is running out of horses to challenge him for the throne, though in the Warren Greatrex-trained Emitom he faces a new rival here - and he could prove to be the biggest threat to the favourite. Only beaten once over hurdles in four starts as a novice last season (against Champ in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree), Emitom put a lacklustre seasonal reappearance behind him when making light work of his opposition on desperate ground to win the Rendlesham Hurdle in good style at Haydock last time out. He stays well and is still lightly-raced, so it’s easy enough to see why some may consider him to be the best alternative to the favourite, especially given that he doesn’t already have a defeat at the hands of Paisley Park on his CV. However, he will need more here if he is to dethrone Emma Lavelle’s star.

Recent evidence suggests that the 2018 winner of this race Penhill isn’t quite the same force as he was back in his glory days, and though he’s held his form fairly consistently so far this season, it looks a fair way below the level that would be required to knock Paisley Park off his perch. It is worth mentioning, though, that both of Penhill’s career best efforts have come at the Festival.

Apple’s Jade Festival record, and recent form, is somewhat patchier, but the ever popular Gordon Elliott mare would have a chance of the hitting the first three if replicating her performance at Leopardstown over Christmas, whilst similar comments apply to last year’s sixth Bacardys, who has been a useful yardstick in Ireland over the past two seasons, but is now probably exposed as being a level below the very best.

In fact, the most progressive of the Irish raiders is Ronald Pump. He lacked the scope for chasing, but was upwardly mobile over hurdles at the back end of last season, and made a fine return to the smaller obstacles when second off top weight in a Pertemps Qualifier back in December. These are much deeper waters than he’s ever faced in before, though.

Meanwhile, untrustworthy duo of L’Ami Serge and West Approach possess the ability to make the first three if in the mood, while The Worlds End was enjoying a fine season until floundering in the mud at Haydock last time, and looks underestimated from an each-way perspective if leaving that run behind.

At a huge price, there could be more outrageous each-way bets than the thoroughly likeable Tobefair. Runner-up in last season’s Pertemps Final at this meeting, Debra Hamer’s stable star boasts a fine record at Prestbury Park, winning twice at the track under big weights in handicaps in the past 12 months. He was closing at the finish, albeit slowly, in the Cleeve Hurdle to stay on into fourth last time out, but if the race turns into a real stamina test, Tobefair may be able to take advantage of those who find themselves wilting late on.

However, it will take something drastically unexpected to occur if Paisley Park is to lose his title here. He can follow in the footsteps of Big Buck’s, who gained his second Stayers’ trophy exactly a decade ago, and complete a memorable double in this race. Emma Lavelle’s wonder horse is the closest thing the meeting has to a certainty, and he can live up to the hype.

Selection

Stayers' Hurdle - Cheltenham Festival, Thursday 12th March 2020 - back Paisley Park at 4/6

Stayers' Hurdle
Paisley Park silk

Paisley Park

lost
Cheltenham Festival Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+BeGambleAware.org. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £40 in Bonuses
#AD New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
AD 18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply.
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £25 Get £50 In Bonuses
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get £50 in bonuses 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets, 4 x free £5 spread bets + 50 free spins on Starburst. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. T&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
Leopardstown
16:40
1stFun Fun Fun
2ndLily Du Berlais
3rdRockstown Girl
Hereford
16:33
1stOut Of Focus
2ndChevington
3rdMr Mackay
Musselburgh
16:25
1stCoral Blue
2ndI Am Gonna Be
3rdGarde Des Champs
View All Today's Results