Cheltenham - At The Races

15:30 Cheltenham 14 Mar 2019

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

Winner £182,878 - 18 ran

4

2m 7f 213y

Good to Soft (soft in places)

View Course Guide

Weighed In

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.

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 Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2018 Soft 15 Penhill 7 11 10 - 114112 323 days W P Mullins P Townend 12/1 6:20.40
2017 Good 12 Nichols Canyon 7 11 10 - 33-312F 46 days W P Mullins R Walsh 10/1 5:49.60
2016 Good 12 Thistlecrack 8 11 10 - 51-2111 47 days C Tizzard (83 miles) T Scudamore Evens 5:42.60
2015 Good 16 Cole Harden 6 11 10 - 72-1234 47 days W Greatrex (45 miles) G Sheehan 14/1 5:41.00
2014 Good 10 More Of That 6 11 10 - 1-111 89 days Jonjo O'Neill (1 miles) B J Geraghty 15/2 5:49.50
2013 Good to Soft 13 Solwhit 9 11 10 - 1222-21 54 days C Byrnes Paul Carberry 17/2 6:24.90
2012 Good 11 Big Buck's 9 11 10 - 111-111 47 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 5/6 5:44.60
2011 Good 13 Big Buck's 8 11 10 - 1111-11 78 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 10/11 5:50.80
2010 Good to Soft 14 Big Buck's 7 11 10 - 1111-11 79 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 5/6 5:49.40
2009 Good to Soft 14 Big Buck's 6 11 10 - 371-U11 47 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 6/1 5:57.00