Stayers' Hurdle 2024 Pre-Season Guide
- 2024 Stayers' Hurdle Odds
- 👑 The Defending Champion 👑
- ⚠️ The Main Danger ⚠️
- ♞ The Dark Horses ♞
The Stayers' Hurdle is the oldest of the four Championship races staged at the Cheltenham Festival and takes pride of place in the center of the card on day three.
A lack of quality in the staying hurdles division was further emphasised in the spring, as a teenager picked up the victory at Cheltenham before going in again at Aintree. With a repeat bid from the soon-to-be 12-year-old defending champion unlikely, there's an intriguing look to the betting for this season's Stayers' Hurdle.
2024 Stayers' Hurdle Odds
|Impaire Et Passe||8/1|
|Sire Du Berlais||16/1|
👑 The Defending Champion 👑
What Sire Du Berlais achieved last spring, at the ripe-old age of 11, was nothing short of miraculous. Gordon Elliott's star won the Stayers' Hurdle, before landing the Liverpool Hurdle three weeks later. Sire Du Berlais then attempted to seal an audacious treble at Punchestown later that same month, and was only beaten a length behind course specialist, Klassical Dream.
As is his wont, Elliott's teenager will show absolutely nothing until he feels spring turf under his feet. That should ensure you get a nice, juicy price about Sire Du Berlais for the 2024 Stayers' Hurdle, so there's no point taking the 16/1 that's currently on offer.
⚠️ The Main Danger ⚠️
The Stayers' Hurdle has been crying out for a star for a while now and Gaelic Warrior
has the potential to answer that plea. Willie Mullins' rising star finished a good second to Impaire Et Passe in the Ballymore 12 months ago, before running away with the three-mile novices hurdle at the Punchestown Festival
To be a real force around Cheltenham, Mullins will need to iron out the flaws in Gaelic Warrior's jumping. Paul Townend's mount has jumped markedly right on all of his starts going left-handed. That fault wasn't quite as pronounced when Patrick Mullins buried him away on the inside in the Ballymore, but Gaelic Warrior still seemed to lug to the right when asked for an effort.
Novice chasing has been mentioned for Gaelic Warrior in some parts, but Mullins' would be a fool not to try and exploit the weakness in the stayer's division and Gaelic Warrior has the raw ability to dominate this contest.
♞ The Dark Horses ♞
Unlike the first two Championship races that I've covered in this series, there are a whole host of potential dark horses in the three-mile hurdle ranks. Teahupoo remains open to further improvement and Marie's Rock has been crying out for a trip, but there are even more appealing options at longer prices.
Irish Point looks set to remain over hurdles for another campaign and Gordon Elliott's charge could prove to be a stout stayer over three miles. Sir Gerhard didn't warm to fences at all last season and he could make up into a lovely staying hurdler, if Willie Mullins wanted to go down that route.
Home By The Lee did well to finish fifth in the race last year, having made an absolute horlicks of the sixth flight and he remains open to further progress. As does Donald McCain's Maximilian, who defeated Albert Bartlett winner Stay Away Fay to win the River Don, before losing out to Apple Away by a length in the Sefton at Aintree.
We then reach Iroko
, who I've included in my 20 To Follow
for the upcoming jumps season. Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero's five-year-old finished a close third in the Sefton, having won the Martin Pipe here at Cheltenham. The Martin Pipe has a habit of throwing up talented winners and there's clearly more to come from Iroko. If he stays over hurdle, then I wouldn't be surprised to see him challenging for the Stayers' Hurdle in 2024.