Cheltenham Tips: Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Odds, Preview And Predictions

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Cheltenham Tips: Stayers’ Hurdle Betting Odds, Preview And Predictions
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Stayers' Hurdle Tip:


No championship race at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival looks as open as the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.

No less than six horses are trading at a single figure price in the ante-post market on betting sites before the Grade 1 showpiece.

It’s probably the most competitive edition of the Stayers’ Hurdle in recent years and one that is going to take some sorting out. 


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It’s also worth remembering that double-figure priced winners are fairly common in this contest, so much so that five of the last eight winners have traded 10/1 or bigger as the tape went up.

Let’s take a look at the horses most likely to be fighting out the finish of this famous race.

Hat-Trick Might Be Beyond Reigning Champ 

Flooring Porter has made all the running to win the last two renewals of the Stayers’ Hurdle, coincidentally the only two races he has won since 2020, but this looks a deeper contest than those which he dominated so even a peak-form Flooring Porter could struggle to strike again.

Gavin Cromwell’s stable star has never posted a Racing Post Rating north of 168 which, when compared to the other championship divisions, is a good indicator that he’s been winning below-par renewals of this race.

Furthermore, there is a chance we might not see a peak-form champion because he’s had problems this season. 

Connections have been making the right sort of noises in recent days, but they will need to have him better than ever, and that’s a tough ask as his odds on horse racing betting sites show.

Best Might Still Be To Come From Blazing Khal 

Blazing Khal is another horse to have had his problems, so much so that he’s been seen only once since the end of 2021.

However, that ‘once’ was worth the wait because Blazing Khal hit the ground running in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan last month, where he travelled smoothly before clearing away to score by three lengths after the last.

That was undoubtedly a performance of a horse that can have a say in the Stayers’ Hurdle, providing he can be kept sound, which is no given with this horse. 

He’s only raced nine times in his life and he’s completely unexposed over staying trips, so a bigger run could easily be forthcoming, which would make him a major player.

However, it’s hard to know how much more there is to come from this seven-year-old, that's because connections revealed after that Navan run that he was pretty straight for that return. 

He’s 2-2 at Cheltenham and his stalk-and-pounce run style is ideal for a strongly run Stayers’ Hurdle but, in a competitive renewal, the feeling has to be that there is very little juice in his price of 3/1 with new betting sites.

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Ground Conditions Could Be Coming Right For Teahupoo 

Gordon Elliott has been trying to convince the world that he’s not bothered what the ground is like for Teahupoo, but the form book tells us that his charge enjoys plenty of cut and the weather forecast suggests things might just be turning in his favour after a prolonged dry spell.

Teahupoo opened his Grade 1 account when staying on strongly to beat Klassical Dream and the previously unbeaten Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, a performance that announced this horse on the big stage. 

Teahupoo

We’ve only seen Teahupoo once over three miles, however he could hardly have been more impressive in his 15-length demolition of Summerville Boy in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park and it’s been all systems go for this race ever since. 

It’s hard to find any real negatives in Teahupoo other than he hardly set the world alight on his only previous visit to Cheltenham (beaten 33 lengths in the 2022 Champion Hurdle).

But, no one can deny he looks a different horse now given stiffer tests of stamina, and it’s difficult to see him not going close in the Stayers’ Hurdle. 

Don’t Forget Lee!

Home By The Lee is almost the forgotten horse of this race, which seems strange given he was ante-post favourite on betting apps before Christmas. 

He earned that market position with a hugely authoritative performance in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle and looks a much better horse this year than the one who could only finish seventh in the 2022 Stayers’ Hurdle. 

His best form is all on soft ground so rain would aid his cause but, for all that he’s looked a top-notcher to the eye this term, the numbers he’s been posting suggest he’s going to be vulnerable in a championship contest. 

He’s yet to go beyond 163 in terms of RPR’s, which isn’t good enough to win a Stayers’ Hurdle.

Rock The Fly In The Stayers’ Ointment

The fly in the ointment in this race is clearly Marie’s Rock who has yet to race beyond two miles, five furlongs. 

It’s a pointer in itself that connections are stepping her up in trip for this race despite the fact that it looks so competitive, and that 7lb she gets from the boys could prove crucial. 

Marie’s Rock is a strong travelling (if at times a little exuberant) mare with a smart turn of foot who has won two of her three starts at Cheltenham, including last year’s Mares’ Hurdle.

However, she bounces off a sound surface and that turn of foot could be blunted by the combination of a longer trip on soft ground. 

If she doesn’t settle early, which is entirely possible, then she will surely be outstayed up the hill.

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2023 Stayers’ Hurdle Verdict 

This looks the toughest championship puzzle of the week to solve but the rock-solid option is surely Teahupoo at 4/1, who probably should be favourite.

Conditions look to be coming right, he’s had an almost perfect preparation and there could be plenty more to come from him. 

There are simply fewer question marks about him than some of his main rivals.

Marie’s Rock has the talent to win but her chance could unravel if she fails to settle early, while Blazing Khal has run just once in the last 13 months, which can’t be an ideal prep for a race as demanding as this.  

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