Cheltenham - At The Races

15:30 Cheltenham 14 Mar 2019

Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO plus)

Winner £182,878 - 44 entered to run

4

Gary Nutting
by Gary Nutting

Published 4th February

Very much a case of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ for the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle with PENHILL taken to repeat last year’s success.

Willie Mullins, who won the previous season’s renewal with another ex-Flat racer in Nichols Canyon, seems intent on sending Tony Bloom’s 8yo straight to the Festival again.

This unorthodox preparation worked a treat 12 months ago, the gelding swooping off a suprisingly modest pace and wide trip to comfortably land the spoils at the chief expense of Supasundae.

The latter, who boasts smart two-mile form as he showed again when chasing home Apple’s Jade in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the weekend, will be a danger once more but there’s no obvious reason why he’ll turn the tables.

Unorthodox preparation worked a treat 12 months ago, the gelding swooping off a suprisingly modest pace and wide trip to comfortably land the spoils.

Those two Festival triumphs came on contrasting ground too - good in 2017, soft last year - and, capable of producing a top performance level after a long layoff, Penhill is hard to knock.

Paisley Park has leapt to the head of the betting in the title-holder’s absence this season courtesy of four straight wins. The first two were in handicaps under a big weight, the last two in Grade 1s at Ascot and Cheltenham.

Emma Lavelle’s 7yo was particularly impressive in the Cleeve last time - hard to believe he was a 33-1 shot beaten over 50 lengths in last year’s Albert Bartlett, even accounting for the experiment with a first-time visor backfiring.

ATR Exclusive Smart Boost: Get Penhill at 6/1 (NRNB) to win the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle with Coral (was 5/1).

18+. Max bet varies. Win Only. Price subject to fluctuation. Singles only. Restrictions may apply. Limited time only.

Gary's Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):

SUN RACING STAYERS’ HURDLE (Thursday 14th March)

1pt win PENHILL (5-1 general with NRNB bookmakers)

Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2018PenhillW P MullinsP Townend7 11-1012/1
2017Nichols CanyonW P MullinsR Walsh7 11-1010/1
2016ThistlecrackC L TizzardT Scudamore8 11-101/1f
2015Cole HardenW GreatrexG Sheehan6 11-1014/1
2014More Of ThatJonjo O'NeillB J Geraghty6 11-1015/2
2013SolwhitC ByrnesP Carberry9 11-1017/2
2012Big Buck'sP F NichollsR Walsh9 11-105/6f
2011Big Buck'sP F NichollsR Walsh8 11-1010/11f
2010 Big Buck's P F Nicholls R Walsh 7 11-10 5/6f
2009 Big Buck's P F Nicholls R Walsh 6 11-10 6/1
2008 Inglis Drever J H Johnson D O'Regan 9 11-10 11/8f
2007 Inglis Drever J H Johnson P Brennan 8 11-10 5-1
2006 My Way De Solzen A King R Thornton 6 11-10 8-1
2005 Inglis Drever J Howard Johnson G Lee 6 11-10 5-1
2004 Iris's Gift J O'Neill B Geraghty 7 11-10 9-2
2003 Baracouda F Doumen T Doumen 8 11-10 9-4jf
2002 Baracouda F Doumen T Doumen 7 11-10 13-8f
2001 No Race
2000 Bacchanal N J Henderson M Fitzgerald 6 11-10 11-2
1999 Anzum D Nicholson R Johnson 8 11-10 40-1
1998 Princeful Mrs J Pitman R Farrant 7 11-10 16-1
1997 Karshi Miss H C Knight J Osborne 7 11-10 20-1