Although not everyone’s cup of tea, this year’s Stayers’ Hurdle is shaping up to be one of the races of the week at the Cheltenham Festival.
With less than nine weeks until the greatest show on earth, we take a look at the main fancies for the 2021 Stayers’ Hurdle – a race not to be missed.
Winner of the race in 2019, Paisley Park is the current favourite to regain his crown following two cracking runs so far this season, both times against Thyme Hill.
He just failed to reel in Thyme Hill at Newbury in the Long Walk Hurdle in November and then turned the tables at Ascot when edging out his rival by a neck.
It’s 1-1 between these hurdling heavyweights so far this season and it’s shaping up to be a tasty decider come Festival time.
Thyme Hill topped off a fine season when 4th in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, going down by under two lengths to Monkfish.
This season he’s shown that he can mix it with the big boys, doing a number on Paisley Park at Newbury and then being nailed late on at Ascot.
At just 6-years-old, he’s still improving and there should be more to come – bring on the Festival.
Sire Du Berlais
The main Irish fancy is the Gordon Elliott trained Sire Du Berlais who bagged wins at the last two Cheltenham Festival.
He won well on seasonal debut at Navan in the Lismullen Hurdle, before running 3rd at Leopardstown over Christmas on unsuitable heavy ground.
With quicker ground expected at Cheltenham, he looks a tasty each-way price to take on Paisley Park and Thyme Hill.
Please note that all odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.