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.


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

Stayers' Hurdle
Paisley Park silk

Paisley Park

Cheltenham Festival Tips
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that 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.

£20 Risk Free Bet Refunded In CASH On Losing Bets (APP Only)

#AD New customers only. Deposit £20 using card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits 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 ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on Horse Racing at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
#AD New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
£20 Risk Free First Bet Money Back In Cash
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is €/£20. T&Cs apply. 18+
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Bet £10 On Racing & Get £40 In Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD 18+ Playsafe. £/€10 deposit using promo code "RACING" - First bet must be placed on horse racing - Minimum stake £/€10 at 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 the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days - Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. #ad
Bet £10 Get £5 Or 50% Losses Back Up To £25
To activate your Sportsbook 50% Back Welcome Offer, simply deposit and bet on any Sportsbook markets of your choice at odds of evens (2.00) or greater. If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting (23:59), we'll refund 50% of your first day's losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (Minimum 3 bets required). If your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens or greater. T&Cs apply. 18+
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. T&Cs apply
Today's Most tipped
Add All Tips To Betslip
Latest racing results
1st A Different Kind
2nd Braveheart
3rd Just Paddy's Band
1st Thunder Kiss
2nd Sweet Molly Malone
3rd Barrington Court
1st Another Choice
2nd Lahinch Three
3rd Copper Nation
View All Today's Results