Key trends for the Stayers' Hurdle

Key trends for the Stayers’ Hurdle

The Stayers’ Hurdle, a test of stamina and resilience over three miles, stands as one of the premier events of the National Hunt season.

This prestigious Grade 1 contest at the Cheltenham Festival attracts a field of seasoned stayers, each vying for glory on the hallowed turf of Prestbury Park.

The racing odds today are favouring Irish Point and Teahupoo, who are both trained by Irish handler Gordon Elliott. 

But to decipher the winning formula for the Stayers’ Hurdle, let’s explore the key trends that have defined its recent history. 


Experience counts for much in the Stayers’ Hurdle, with the nine of 12 most recent winners falling within the six to eight age range.

This age range offers a balance between youthful energy and seasoned maturity, providing the ideal profile for success over the gruelling three-mile trip.


It is fair to say that favourites do not have a good record in the Stayers’ Hurdle, as just three of the last 12 winners were the market leader. 

It’s perhaps even worth looking outside the top three in the betting, as less than half of the last 12 champions were in the upper echelons of the market. 

Last run

How a horse fared in its last run before the Stayers’ Hurdle is another factor that is hard to go off, as just half of the last 12 winners were victorious in their final face in the build-up to Cheltenham.

What is important is sharpness and fitness, as 10 of the last 12 winners had their last run within 80 days of the Festival. 

Preparatory race

The Cleve Hurdle has emerged as an interesting preparation race for the Stayers’ Hurdle, as five of the last 12 winners competed in the Cheltenham showdown — with three going on to win this contest and one placing.

Course familiarity

Familiarity with the undulating contours of Cheltenham is crucial, with all but one of the recent winners boasting at least one previous run at the course.

Moreover, seven of the last 12 winners had at least one previous win at Prestbury Park — showcasing their ability to navigate the testing track. 

Distance mastery

Proficiency over extended distances ranging from 23 to 25 furlongs is essential for success in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Nine of the last 12 champions had at least three runs over these distances, while eight of the last 12 victors had at least two wins over such testing trips. 

Hurdle form and rating

A solid foundation over the smaller obstacles is essential, with all but one of the last 12 winners having at least eight previous runs over hurdles while 10 of those 12 champions had at least four victories. 

Moreover, a high rating is a common attribute among victors, with the vast majority (nine out of 12) boasting ratings of 156 or higher.

Graded wins and seasonal form

Success in Grade 1 and Grade 2 contests is a recurring theme among Stayers’ Hurdle winners, with nine out of the 12 having notched up wins at the highest levels of the sport.

Furthermore, a consistent season is key — with 11 out of the 12 winners having notched up multiple runs and eight had at least one victory during the campaign.

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