Stayers’ Hurdle

The Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle takes place at 3.30pm and is the headline race on Day 3 (Thursday) of the Cheltenham Festival. The race will be broadcast on ITV and Racing TV [RTV].

The race has been won by some of the best horses in the history of jump racing including Thistlecrack, Big Buck’s, Inglis Drever and Baracouda and is the ultimate test of the staying hurdler.

Length of race – The race is run over 3m.
Where to watch – RTV and ITV.
When to watch – Thursday, March 14 at 3.30pm
Prize money – Last year’s race was worth £325,000.
Course – The race is run on the new course at Cheltenham.
Race type – The Stayers’ Hurdle is an open Grade 1 contest, meaning novices may also enter. Mares can also compete if their connections wish.
Weights – Four-year-olds running in the race will carry 11st, while horses aged five and over will saddle 11st 10lb. Mares receive a 7lb allowance in the race.
Ages – The race is open to all horses aged four and older.
Sponsor – Sun Racing will sponsor the event for the first time in 2019.


Past 10 winners:


Year Horse Previous form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2018 Penhill 14112- 7 12-1 Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2017 Nichols Canyon 3-312F 7 10-1 Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2016 Thistlecrack 1-2111 8 EvensF Colin Tizzard Tom Scudamore
2015 Cole Harden 2-1234 6 14-1 Warren Greatrex Gavin Sheehan
2014 More Of That 1-111 6 15-2 Jonjo O’Neill Barry Geraghty
2013 Solwhit 222-21 9 17-2 Charles Byrnes Paul Carberry
2012 Big Buck’s 11-111 9 5-6F Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2011 Big Buck’s 11-111 8 10-11F Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2010 Big Buck’s 111-11 7 5-6F Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh
2009 Big Buck’s 71-U11 6 6-1 Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh


Race stats

  • Aged six to nine, 10/10
  • Ran no more than four times since August, 10/10
  • Top-two finish on last completed start, 9/10
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 165, 8/10
  • Previously ran at the festival, 8/10
  • Not out of the first two in all completed hurdle starts that season, 8/10
  • Won a Graded hurdle over at least 3m, 7/10
  • Ran between nine and 20 times over hurdles, 7/10

Other factors

  • A five-year-old has never won (one of the five to have run in the past ten seasons was placed)
  • Four of the seven Irish winners since the mid-1980s prepped in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan
  • The record of Cleeve Hurdle winners is 17214213
  • Ruby Walsh is the most successful Stayers’ Hurdle jockey having won the 3m contest on five occasions. He won with Big Buck’s (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and Nichols Canyon (2017).
  • Paul Nicholls is the winningmost trainer in the race, having won four times with the legendary Big Buck’s.

Key Trials

The Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot and the Cleeve Hurdle on trials day at Cheltenham are key trials ahead of the Stayers’ Hurdle.
For staying hurdlers based in Ireland, the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown will be early season targets. Later in the season, races such as the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park are also used as Cheltenham prep races.

What happened last year?

Owned by Brighton & Hove Albion FC chairman Tony Bloom, Penhill came back from almost a year off to win the Stayers’ Hurdle. He battled off fellow Irish-trained rival Supasundae to win by two lengths. View the 2018 Stayers Hurdle result and replay here.

Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?

Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.

Stayers’ Hurdle Tip

Paisley Park laid down a serious marker with his 12-length demolition job in the Cleeve Hurdle and a repeat of that would surely be good enough to win. It was striking the way he picked up turning in and bounded up the hill. Samcro would be a fascinating addition if he is over the infection which blighted his season.
(Cathal Gahan)

1. Paisley Park, 2. Faugheen, 3. Samcro

View the racecard and place your bets here.