Some 26 horses remain among the 2022 Stayers Hurdle odds and betting after the latest declaration stage for the 3m Grade 1 contest on Thursday, 17 March at the Cheltenham Festival were revealed. Just more than half of the initial potential runners were trained in Ireland but former ante post favors Klasical Dream and Champ suffered losses in their final prep runs.
Damaging Losses for Klassical Dream and Champ
The Emerald Isle has only produced four Stayers Hurdle winners (formerly the World Hurdle) since 2005. However, those successes have all come since 2013. Willie Mullins has seven possible entries. Heading those is still Classical Dream (5/1 from 11/4). A ready winner of the 2019 Supreme Novices Hurdle as past Cheltenham results indicate, the eight-year-old goes well fresh but lost his unbeaten record over this longer trip with a disappointing fourth in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.
Mullins landed the Stayers Hurdle with Nichols Canyon and Penhill, who also didn’t take much racing. Following victories in the Punchestown Champion Stayers and Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle, it was easy to see why horse racing betting sites made Klassical Dream the favorite. The books have now more than doubled his Stayers Hurdle odds in places following such a tame effort.
2020 RSA Chase hero Champ (now 5/1 from 6/1) couldn’t build on his gallant Long Walk success at Ascot for trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus when Emma Lavell stable star Paisley Park (7/1 from 33/1) reversed that form in the Cleeve Hurdle. Last year’s Stayers Hurdle winner Flooring Porter is now the 7/2 favorite (from 11/2) and one of two engaged by trainer Gavin Cromwell. Champ has been scratched from the Gold Cup, though, so remains over hurdles.
Hobbs going right on Thyme Hill to Cheltenham, Sporting John slashed
Philip Hobbs also has two possible runners in the Cheltenham betting here. Thyme Hill (9/2 from 13/2) missed the Festival last year and chased home Champ at Ascot on his only UK start before Stayers Hurdle entries came out. Hobbs has since confirmed that Thyme Hill, fourth in the 2020 Albert Bartlett, will go straight to the Stayers Hurdle with no prep run.
Leading Irish owner McManus also has Sporting John in training with Hobbs and he won a 3m handicap at Cheltenham earlier in the season. He was as big as 40/1 in the Stayers Hurdle odds at one stage following a subsequent defeat when a well-backed favorite at Prestbury Park. However, Sporting John has more than halved in price into 14/1 with Cheltenham non runner no bet bookmaker Bet365 after an easy success in a Pertemps Qualifier under a welter burden. He is as short as 8/1 in places.
Hobbs and McManus are still unsure what route this horse will go down come Cheltenham. Victory in that Warwick qualifier off 151 as race results tell us means the handicapper will have his say for the Pertemps Final and a 5lb higher mark to defy. That may force connections of Sporting John to run in the Stayers Hurdle, even though McManus has two other horses with other top trainers engaged.
2022 Stayers Hurdle odds ante post betting show
- Flooring Porter (7/2)
- Thyme Hill (9/2)
- Champ (5/1)
- Classical Dream (5/1)
- Paisley Park (7/1)
- Asterion Forlonge (11/1)
- Royal Kahala (12/1)
- Sporting John (12/1)
- Burning Victory (3/1)
- Melon (3/1)
- Sir Du Berlais (3/1)
- Lisnagar Oscar (40/1)
- Bar (50/1)
All prices best odds and correct as of 15:00 GMT on Sunday, 27 February 2022
Royal Kahala Stayers Hurdle odds slashed after Galmoy glory
The only other notable positive market mover on the best betting sites is Klassical Dream’s Gowran conqueror Royal Kahala (now 12/1 from 66/1). Peter Fahey’s mare also has an entry against her own sex at the Cheltenham Festival and will be 4lb worse off at the weights with the Mullins mount if taking him on again.
Gordon Elliott could run three in the race with last year’s runner-up Sir Du Berlais (33/1 from 40/1) the shortest of those but still a big price. Commander Of Fleet (100/1 from 50/1) and Grand Roi (66/1) could also represent the Cullentra House team here but look rank outsiders. Long-time Emerald Isle rival Mullins also enters horses that aren’t winning their competitive staying chases to give connections options.
In this bracket are the likes of Joe and Marie Donnelly owned pair Asterion Forlonge (11/1 from 25/1) and Melon (33/1 yet 12/1 in places). Mullins mar Burning Victory (also 33/1 and half that with some firms) won the 2020 Triumph Hurdle in fortuitous fashion at the Festival, shaping very much like a stayer. Her best exploits have come on the Flat since, though.
Bar those names, it is 50/1 and bigger the remainder. There was a shock result in this race two years ago, however, when Lisnagar Oscar defed Stayers Hurdle odds of 50/1 leading home 20/1 and 33/1 shots. Rebecca Curtis’s horse is now 40/1 this time around. Leading books Betfred have gone Non Runner No Bet (NRNB) with their Stayers Hurdle odds and betting. McFabulous is the most notable of seven defections from initial entries.
Latest 2022 Stayers Hurdle Entries in Full
- Alaphilippe (Fergal O’Brien)
- Asterion Forlonge (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Champ (Nicky Henderson)
- Cilaos Emery (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Commander Of Fleet (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
- Darver Star (Gavin Cromwell, IRE)
- Flooring Porter (Gavin Cromwell, IRE)
- Garo De Juilley (Sophie Leech)
- Gentlemansgame (Mouse Morris, IRE)
- Grand Roi (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
- Home By The Lee (Joseph O’Brien, IRE)
- Klassical Dream (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Koshari (David Christie, IRE)
- Lisnagar Oscar (Rebecca Curtis)
- Melon (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle)
- Sire Du Berlais (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
- Song For Someone (Tom Symonds)
- Sporting John (Philip Hobbs)
- Third Wind (Hughie Morrison)
- Thomas Darby (Olly Murphy)
- Thyme Hill (Philip Hobbs)
- Burning Victory (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Indefatigable (Paul Webber)
- Molly Ollys Wishes (Dan Skelton)
- Royal Kahala (Peter Fahey, IRE)
Stayers Hurdle Defections
- Aspire Tower (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
- Buveur D’Air (Nicky Henderson)
- Goshen (Gary Moore)
- McFabulous (Paul Nicholls)
- Mr Adjudicator (Willie Mullins, IRE)
- Santini (Polly Gundry)
- My Sister Sarah (Willie Mullins, IRE)
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