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Cheltenham Festival 2024 Tips - 20/1 outsider can spring into Stayers' Hurdle contention

jon-vine
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Last updated: 06 Mar 2024
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Jon Vine 06 Mar 2024
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  • Our second ante-post tip for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival
  • We've backed Sir Gerhard at 20/1 for the 2024 Stayers' Hurdle
  • The 2024 Stayers' Hurdle will be run at Cheltenham on Thursday 14th March
sir gerhard
Paul Townend riding Sir Gerhard (red) clear the last to win The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle in 2022. (Getty)

Ahead of a hectic Festive period of racing, we've put up a 20/1 shot as our second Cheltenham Festival 2024 ante-post tip.

2024 Stayers' Hurdle Tips - Sir Gerhard


The three-mile hurdle division in Britain at the moment is, for want of a kinder word, rubbish - and it has been for a few years now. This weekend's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot illustrates this perfectly. Crambo, rated just 142, tops the market ahead of 143-rated West Balboa. Two 11-year-olds, Champ and Paisley Park can be backed at single figures to win on Saturday, along with ten-year-old Dashel Drasher.

Five of the last seven Stayers' Hurdle winners were trained in Ireland. Yet, the staying hurdles division on the other side of the Irish Sea is also lacking depth. Teahupoo is the clear stand-out, but he was beaten by the aging Sire Du Berlais in the race 12 months ago, despite a deluge of rain arriving on Wednesday to turn the ground in his favour.

French star Theleme sits just behind Teahupoo in the Cheltenham Festival market, despite never running in Britain or Ireland before. In short, the 2024 Stayers' Hurdle betting looks ripe for a springer, so I'm going to take a chance on two-time Festival winner, SIR GERHARD (20/1).

In my pre-season guide to the Stayers' Hurdle, I mentioned Sir Gerhard - who was priced up around 25/1 at the time - as an outsider to watch out for. In his pre-season stable tour, Willie Mullins said he was considering dropping his star back down to hurdling, if things don't go to plan over fences. 

I never thought Sir Gerhard took to fences last season, despite being brought by Cheveley Park as a potential Gold Cup horse. Mullins' charge made his reappearance in the two-mile Barberstown Castle Chase in November and was jumping reasonably well behind Dinoblue, until a terrible blunder at the second-last saw Paul Townend's mount come crashing to the canvas.

Having shown some spark in that reappearance, I was still reluctant to back Sir Gerhard for the Stayers' Hurdle. That was until the betting opened for the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and Sir Gerhard was sitting third in the betting for the Christmas Hurdle, behind Irish Point and Home By The Lee.

Given his return to hurdling has all but been confirmed, I was expecting to see Sir Gerhard's Stayers Hurdle price contract a good deal on Sunday and Monday. Yet, as we speak, the former Champion Bumper and Ballymore winner can be backed at 20/1 - the same price as Crambo, West Balboa and Sir Du Berlais. 

*Update 13/1/24*


Sir Gerhard is now best-priced at 14/1 to win the Stayers', following a winning return to hurdles at Punchestown. That victory may have come in an ungraded race, but Willie Mullins' star still saw off a strong field featuring Thedevilscoachman and Ashdale Bob, on bottomless ground which might not have suited. I can still see this talented sort running a huge race at the Festival.

2024 Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Tips


Name
Race
Price Taken
Firefox2024 Supreme Novices' Hurdle10/1
Sir Gerhard2024 Stayers' Hurdle20/1

Verdict

If Sir Gerhard runs well in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, then his price for the 2024 Stayers' Hurdle shortens considerably. Unlike Teahupoo and Theleme, Willie Mullins' eight-year-old isn't ground dependent and we know he loves Cheltenham, having already won twice at the Festival.

Best Bet1: Sir Gerhard 2024 Stayers' Hurdle Ante-Post Tip @20/1 at bet365 - 10 Units
Sir Gerhard
2024 Stayers' Hurdle Ante-Post Tip
@20/1 - 10 Units
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