10th - 13th March

Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle

Sky Sports Racing’s Zoey Bird analyses the top candidates for Thursday’s flagship contest, the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle.

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More than any other category, the staying hurdling division is THE one where reigning Champions can come back the following year and successfully defend their crowns and even notch up a sequence of wins.

Since 1912, there have been eight multiple winners of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Big Bucks holding the record of 4 consecutive wins in the race, closely followed by Inglis Drever with three wins, though Graham Wylie’s exuberant stayer did relinquish his crown when injured in 2006 but then won it back again the following year.

In 2020, we have Paisley Park of course, who has very strong claims of retaining his Stayers' title and indeed perhaps notching up a sequence of wins in the race. However, this year he does face strong opposition from Ireland in the form of Penhill, a previous winner of the race himself who will be trying to emulate Inglis Drever, Crimson Embers before him, Sobrino before him and even Warwick before him, in regaining his Stayers' crown, a feat which as I’ve just illustrated has been pulled off several times before!

Zoey Bird’s Verdict

Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle 2020
  • As I stated in the intro this is THE race that Champions can notch up a sequence and I really cannot see why Paisley Park can’t do just that. He has all the ingredients to make him one of the very best stayers in modern times, however I think he does face one seriously talented opponent who we haven’t seen the best of so far this season and who is also a former winner of the Stayers’, and that horse is Penhill. His hand will definitely be played late and you can guarantee that Paul Townend will be keeping tabs on exactly when Aiden Coleman makes his move on Paisley Park. I’ve backed PENHILL ante post without the favourite , and SUMMERVILLE BOY for a place . As, whilst I don’t think the latter’s jumping is slick enough under pressure to win, he’ll race prominently and should be able to stay close to the pace until the bitter end.

Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle

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