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Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle tips (1530): The heart says Paisley Park, the head says Teahupoo

The hurdling equivalent of the Gold Cup, day three’s showpiece race sees a dozen high-profile names line up to contest the biggest long-distance hurdle event on the National Hunt calendar.

15:30 - Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle (3 miles)

Winner in 2019, Paisley Park has been the only successful favourite in the last seven renewals, and he would surely take the roof off the Cheltenham stands if he were able to convert his recent near misses into another Stayers’ triumph.

Defying his 12-year-old legs, he was narrowly beaten by a head by Dashel Drasher in Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle in December, by a short head behind Crambo in Ascot’s Long Walk, and finally just another head behind Noble Yeats when last seen in the Cleeve Hurdle over this course and distance in January.

The veteran warrior is sure to be a popular each-way punt at a double-digit price, and although the  heart might be leading the head a little, if Paisley Park is produced in top shape by Emma Lavelle, then we wouldn’t be surprised to see Tom Bellamy squeeze another frame finish out of him here.

Popular punt: Paisley Park each-way in the 15:30 at Cheltenham


Of course, such is the quality of this stellar field that there isn’t room in the frame for all of those capable of making it. That includes Sire Du Berlais, who defied the odds to land this at 33/1 shot, while two-time winner Flooring Porter should not be discounted after winning this in 2021 and 2022 and finishing fourth a year ago.

Harry Cobden had a miserable first couple of days at the Festival, but his fortunes might change on Thursday, with 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats already showing his aptitude over smaller obstacles when winning the Cleeve in seven weeks ago.

There are strong arguments for Crambo and Sir Gerhard, both of whom are attracting plenty of support in the betting, but our final nod has to go to the highly-rated and strongly-fancied favourite, Teahupoo.

Planet Sport Bet: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Teahupoo wins by more than 5 lengths, get a £5 Free Bet!

This classy seven-year-old arguably had excuses for failing to land the odds last year when finishing a close-up third behind Sire Du Berlais and Dashel Drasher. Hampered on the run-in he made telling progress after being switched, but the damage had been done and as he closed the gap on the front two the line came just a matter of yards too soon.  

Jack Kennedy replaces the retired Davy Russell this year, and he was on board when Teahupoo returned to make his solitary appearance this season, and he looked better than ever when defending his crown in the Grace Hatton Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December.

He has since been rested with this race always the long-term target, and it's worth noting that his record is four wins out of four when returning fresh from a break of three months or longer.

If he can enjoy an untroubled round and avoid any congestion on the run-in, then we might just see a smile on Gordon Elliott’s face by around 3.40 on Thursday afternoon.

Best bet: Teahupoo in the 15:30 at Cheltenham


Stayers’ Hurdle key stats

Top 3 trainers (last 20 years)

  • Paul Nicholls - 18 runners, 4 winners and 3 places
  • Willie Mullins - 34 runners, 2 winners and 5 places
  • Jonjo O'Neill - 11 runners and 2 winners

Top 3 jockeys (last 20 years)

  • Danny Mullins - 4 rides with 2 winners
  • Paul Townend - 13 rides, 1 winner and 1 place
  • Aidan Coleman - 6 rides, 1 winner and 3 places

Past 5 winners of the Stayers’ Hurdle

  • 2019 Paisley Park 11/8F
  • 2020 Lisnagar Oscar 50/1
  • 2021 Flooring Porter 12/1
  • 2022 Flooring Porter 4/1
  • 2023 Sire Du Berlais 33/1

Britain v Ireland

  • Britain - 14 winners and 22 places from 172 runners
  • Ireland - 6 winners and 15 places from 89 runners


READ MORE: Cheltenham Festival ITV racing tips: Best bets for Day Three on Thursday March 14

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