Cheltenham Tips

Stayers' Hurdle: Timeform's expert verdict

Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham
Teahupoo (right) was third in the Stayers' Hurdle last season

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Stayers' Hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival...

Stayers' Hurdle
15:30 Cheltenham, Thursday
Live on ITV

1. Asterion Forlonge (Willie Mullins/ Mr Patrick Mullins)

Very smart hurdler/chaser at his best though prone to errors over fences. Grade 2 winner back over hurdles at Fairyhouse last spring and better for his return over fences when respectable 11 lengths second to Irish Point in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown last time. His sole Grade 1 win came as a novice four years ago so likely to come up short again.

2. Buddy One (Paul Gilligan/ Jack Gilligan)

Progressed again when winning a handicap over course and distance in November but improvement has stalled in better company since. Came in last of five to Teahupoo when stepped up to this level in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse next time and reportedly scoped wrong when pulled up in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on his latest start.

3. Champ (Non-runner)

4. Crambo (Fergal O'Brien/ Jonathan Burke)

Winner of seven of his ten career starts and has progressed through the ranks over hurdles, winning a handicap at Aintree in the autumn and then edging out Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December with Dashel Drasher a bit further back. More needed again to beat the best of the Irish but that is entirely possible (unexposed at 3m).

5. Dashel Drasher (Jeremy Scott/ Rex Dingle)

Tough and likeable sort who edged out the penalised Paisley Park to win the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in December and has posted creditable efforts in defeat since, including when three lengths fourth to Noble Yeats in the Cleeve Hurdle over course and distance last time. Most unlikely he'll better last year's superb second in this, however.

6. Flooring Porter (Gavin Cromwell/ Keith Donoghue)

Front runner who won this race in 2021 and 2022. Couldn't complete the hat-trick 12 months ago when probably doing a bit too much in front but still ran his best race of the season to finish fourth (3½ lengths behind Sire du Berlais). Made a winning debut over fences this term but had his limitations exposed in graded company since so no surprise to see him have another crack at this.

7. Home By The Lee (Joseph O'Brien/ JJ Slevin)

Winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown last season before shaping better than the bare result when fifth in this race (beaten under 4 lengths despite a serious mistake at the sixth). However, doesn't arrive in the same form for this year's renewal, looking moody in the latest Christmas Hurdle. Headgear refitted.

8. Janidil (Willie Mullins/ Jody McGarvey)

High-class chaser on his day (second in the Ryanair in 2022). Respectable effort when trying to give weight to odds-on stablemate Allaho in the Clonmel Oil Chase on reappearance but failed to build on that next time and this is a tough ask on his belated return to hurdles (last seen in this sphere when fifth in the Albert Bartlett four years ago).

9. Noble Yeats (Emmet Mullins/ Harry Cobden)

Top-class chaser who won the 2022 Grand National. Having only his third career start over hurdles when narrowly beating the penalised Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle over this course and distance in January. More needed here but has plenty of scope to improve given his chase form. Interesting contender.

10. Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle/ Tom Bellamy)

Veteran stayer who can race lazily but retains plenty of ability and enthusiasm, going down only narrowly in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury (beaten a head by Dashel Drasher), Ascot's Long Walk Hurdle (beaten short head by Crambo) and Cleeve Hurdle here last time (beaten a head by Noble Yeats), giving weight to the winner on two occasions. Record in this reads 17337.

11. Sire du Berlais (Gordon Elliott/ Mark Walsh)

Grand servant who has won the Pertemps Final twice on this card but gained his biggest Festival success in this race last year when narrowly beating Dashel Drasher and stablemate Teahupoo at 33/1. Should be sharper for his belated comeback run in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan and this is his time of year (has also won last two renewals of the Liverpool Hurdle) but no 12-year-old has won this.

12. Sir Gerhard (Willie Mullins/ Paul Townend)

Leading novice hurdler of the 2021/22 campaign, winning the Baring Bingham here, and a smart novice chaser last term. Closing in second when falling heavily two out in a Grade 3 chase at Naas on return and showed no ill effects when landing odds back hurdling in a minor event at Punchestown on New Year's Eve. Unproven beyond 21f but not dismissed.

13. Teahupoo (Gordon Elliott/ Jack Kennedy)

High-class hurdler who was a close third in this last year when favourite. As good as ever when making it back-to-back wins in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on his return in December. Kept fresh for this (4-4 when returning from an absence of three months or longer) and huge run expected with ground having come in his favour too.

Timeform's Analyst Verdict:

The veterans came out on top in last season's renewal, but TEAHUPOO was a close third when only a 6-y-o and has improved again this year judging by the manner of his win in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on his return in December, so looks the one to beat. Fellow 7-y-o Crambo appeals as the main threat given the rate of his progress, though top-class chaser Noble Yeats won the Cleeve Hurdle on only his third start in this sphere so is a fascinating contender.

Timeform's 1-2-3:

1. Teahupoo
2. Crambo
3. Noble Yeats

Back Teahupoo @ 2.942/1 on Betfair Exchange

Bet here

Now read Tony Calvin's day three tips with seven bets on the card


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