The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most anticipated events in the horse racing calendar, attracting some of the finest horses, jockeys, and trainers from around the world. Among the Festival’s most prestigious races is Thursday’s Stayers Hurdle, a genuine test of endurance and stamina that has seen some of the sport’s greatest champions compete over the years.
The Stayers Hurdle, also known as the World Hurdle, is a Grade 1 National Hunt race that takes place over a grueling three miles at Prestbury Park. First, run in 1912, the race has a long and storied past, and its winners have included some of the most celebrated horses and trainers in the sport.
Over the years, some trainers have dominated the Stayers Hurdle, winning the race multiple times and cementing their place in horse racing history. Among these is the famous Willie Mullins, one of the most successful National Hunt trainers of all time, who continues to rack up this list of winners and will want to build on his success.
Other notable trainers to have tasted success in the Stayers Hurdle include Paul Nicholls, who has trained three winners of the race, and Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has won the race twice. But there are plenty of other trainers capable of victory, especially when examining the Stayers Hurdle betting odds for this year’s race.
It looks to be as competitive as ever, but which jockeys will be riding the favorites? Read on as we look at the best bets for this year’s Stayers Hurdle as well as the trainers that will be hoping to seal the victory.
Charlies Byrne – Blazing Khal
Blazing Khal became the favorite for this year’s Stayers Hurdle when he impressed after coming back from a lengthy absence in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan. The Charlies Byrne-trained seven-year-old had not raced since December 2021, when he won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, but now he looks back to his best after an injury sidelined him for over 400 days. Byrne is back from his ban and will now look to add to his three consecutive hurdle wins with Blazing Khal at Cheltenham.
Emma Lavelle – Paisley Park
While Emma Lavelle’s Paisley Park may come into this race as something of an outsider, the 14/1 shot was victorious at Prestbury Park in the 2019 Stayers and has built up a wealth of experience that could be invaluable on the day. Having finished third behind Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter for the last two years, he’ll want to retain his title from four years ago, and Lavelle believes the 11-year-old can improve upon a poor showing at Gold Town in time for Cheltenham.
“Paisley Park has come out of the Cleeve Hurdle well and seems in good order,” she said. “He has had an easy time of it since, but we will start to build him back up for the Stayers’ Hurdle this week and roll into Cheltenham.
“I only feel he needs to step back up a bit, and if he does, he won’t be far away in the Stayers Hurdle. They just didn’t go quick enough in the Cleeve.”
Gordon Elliott – Teahupoo
Gordon Elliott will be hoping for more Cheltenham success in the Stayers Hurdle, with Teahupoo coming in at 9/2 odds. After Grade 2 Galmoy glory in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, Teahupoo will be hoping for a much better Cheltenham than last year, when the six-year-old finished last in the Champion Hurdle as Honeysuckle strolled to glory.