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  1. #1
    Senior Member jono's Avatar
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    Sep 2016

    Stayers Hurdle 2018

    There’s been a few posts regarding the Stayers Hurdle in the forum recently so it seems a good time to make up the thread.

    The Trial races, particularly the English Trials always hold strong with this race and the key trials would be:

    Key UK Trials
    Newbury - Long Distance Hurdle
    Ascot - Long Walk Hurdle
    Chest - Cleeve Hurdle

    Key IRE Trials
    Fairyhouse - Hattons Grace (2m4)
    Leopardstown - Christmas Hurdle
    Gowan - Galmoy Hurdle

    Looking at the market as of today…

    Nichols Canyon - 7/1
    I wrote this in the main ante post thread straight after the festival:

    Think he can be the key player in this division. Looks to have found his trip. No doubts on stamina on how fast the race was run with Cole Harden. Still only 7. Owner has previous with this type of horse. And the key - no doubt whatsoever in target.
    The same still holds true. Since then NC ran an extremely acceptable 2nd (an extremely tight photo finish 2nd at that) to a back to form UNWIMH which is no bad thing. The pair pulled 18 lengths clear of the rest of the field. Unlike at Cheltenham where Ruby rode NC very much with stamina to prove, this time he was much more confident in his stamina and turning in it looked like he would pick up the winner but UNWIMH was back to top form and wouldn’t let him past. The good thing for me with this run was that NC was closing right at the end and if it had been a few yards more then he may very well of won showing that 3 miles really is no issue for him and no longer any concern going forward. An 8 time grade 1 winner and unexposed over the trip with just 2 runs, he sets the standard for the race. Still available at 7/1 which is very fair.

    UNWIMH - 9/1
    As above he got his revenge on Nichols Canyon at Punchestown in April. Kev made a fine case for the horse recently in the main ante post thread:

    No Stayers thread yet but I have just taken 9/1 for Unowhatimeanharry 2.5 pts win. Was so sweet on him all season, 3rd at the festival was a bit disappoiting obviously but I did have 25s each way!

    Turned the form around at Punchestown by a head over Nichols Canyon and I am not excited by anything coming in to the division. Can easily see them in the mix again come March. Way too big a price looking at his form….

    Amazing that Nichols Canyon is two years younger than UNWIMH though, the age is an obvious negative which might be factored in to the price. Very hard to see any improvement IMO but he does set the standard in Britain, for me.
    Again, not much more to add. I agree that I think 2017 was “his year” and that he’ll never have a better chance BUT if he can hold his form for another crack next year then he should be right up there.

    Faugheen - 8/1 & Yorkhill - 10/1
    Only priced up with bet365 for both. Faugheen is 8/1 and that’s a ludicrous price for the horse. Though I could see the scenario where he could maybe end up here if his season doesn’t quite go to plan, you’re relying on a lot of faith for him to line up in the CH, let alone to end up here. Yorkhill is similar in that if he were to revert back to hurdles then the CH would be the clear aim and I see no scenarios where he turned up here.

    The Worlds End - 12/1
    Back to actual contenders! If trends are your thing then no Albert Bartlett runner has ever won the Stayers Hurdle despite UNWIMH looking for the all world like he would break that last year. With Penhills injury The Worlds End looks like being the best horse to try and break it in 2018. I have to admit he caught me off guard last year where I never really paid much notice to him until watching back the Albert Bartlett and seeing him travel so well. It was a nasty fall but he proved it did no damage when winning the Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree In April. I don’t think it was the strongest race but it is a race which has proved a decent guide to the Stayers Hurdle over the last few years:

    2015 - Thistlecrack - won the Stayers in 2016. PLUS Alpha des Obeaux would have been 2nd if staying up and came 2nd in the Stayers
    2014 - Beat That. Cole Harden came 2nd and won the Stayers in 2015

    For me, he looks the first of 2 (the other further down) of the clear pick of the novices stepping up into the division. At 12/1 he doesn’t quite excite me from a price point of view but i’m keen to see how gets on in the English trials, where we should see how he fares with UNWIMH.

    Jezki - 12/1
    Having beaten Hurricane Fly on his first attempt over 3 miles in 2015, The Stayers Hurdle had been the logical target but injuries the following year meant we didn’t see him again until January 2017. Tipped by many to be the value in this years race, he was actually making good progress 2 out but soon weakened and finished a 31 lengths back 8th at the end. Priced up only with Stan James but 12’s is a shocking price and solely on past reputation. The same age as UNWIMH, you’d be mad to back this runner between the 2. A clear run full season should help the horse but hard to see him making an impact next year.

    Finians Oscar - 12/1

    Apples Jade - 14/1
    She would interest me if she were to go for this race. I think she could get 3 miles and with the 7lb allowance it would bring her into play with the top of the market. I do however think they will go for the Mares once again with her so for now there’s little more to say.

    Yanworth - 14/1
    Another who has chasing plans and I’m interested to see how he gets on over fences. I have a feeling he may not get on too well over that sphere and there’s a chance he comes back to hurdles. We saw last year his target change from this race to the Champion Hurdle and along with Buveur D’Air coming back over hurdles, it shows that JP and connections aren’t adverse to making a switch mid way through a season. If he was around 20-25/1 for this I would chance 1pt on him in this race but at those odds it doesn’t tempt me.

    Penhill - 14/1
    The Albert Bartlett winner who came second in a very hot novice hurdle at Punchestown which included Champagne Classic, Monalee and Presenting Percy. Unfortunately he has suffered an injury and it doesn’t sound too promising (Aug 13th):

    But his owner, Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom, told The Argus: “Unfortunately, Penhill is injured. It’s not looking good. We’ll wait and see how the next six months go.
    A brief mention of some of the rest:

    Snow Falcon - is well held through all form this season.
    Supasundae - 16/1, could have this as a target. Winner of the Coral Cup and a second to Yanworth at Aintree over his first try at 3 miles.
    L’ami Serge - 20/1, won over 25F at Auteuil in June and the step up in trip could be what he needs. His festival and Cheltenham form reads well 4322 including placing in both the JLT and County. His last 3 runs make him a solid horse in the market. Pitt Zig and Shaneshill are decent yardsticks but I think he still has plenty to improve.
    Messier Des Obeaux - 20/1 - Far from disgraced behind the likes Finians Oscar, Neon Wolf and Willoughby Court he placed in all 6 races this year. Have yet to hear of his plans this season coming.
    Wholestone - 20/1 - like MdO - he has solid form throughout. Billy mentioned he could be one for chasing. Cheltenham form figures of 12113. He beat some decent horses in William Henry, Ami Desbois. It’s hard to think all 3 of the Munir horses will run here so a watching brief for me when it comes to these three as you also have Footpad (33/1) who could run here.
    Barters Hill - 20/1 - lot’s to prove following his injury last year. Chasing plans are on hold and he’ll start off in a handicap hurdle. The 20’s is very big when you consider his previous form but you just have to wait and see how he is again before getting involved.

    There are however 2 more that interest me:

    Lil Rockafeller - 25/1
    I started the thread talking about NC and UNWIMH and for me they are a fair bit ahead of the rest of the horses i’ve mentioned. With that being the case, you cannot ignore Lil Rockafeller at all. I’m sure he would be MUCH shorter in the betting if it wasn’t for running a stinker at Punchestown but he ran a mighty race at the festival. Very consistent, the 10th place finish was out of character for the horse and although he was well beat at the time in around 4th place, he looked to completely empty and I imagine something was up. Ran Yanworth very close in the Coral Hurdle as Ascot over 2m4, then finished 2nd in the Long Walk Hurdle (one of the main trials) behind UNWIMH leading up to that second place at the festival. If you can forgive the Punchestown run his 3 mile form reads: 322. I was shocked to see he is only 6 years old so you'd imagine there's more improvement. Very tempted for an each way bet on him…

    Presenting Percy - 33/1
    I talked about The Worlds End being the pick of 2 of the novices coming into the division, well PP would be the second. Laid out for the Pertemps Hurdle and he won it with so much in hand. He ended the season the joint top rated staying novice hurdler at 157. HOWEVER that was joint top with West Approach who I think it’s fair to say was very flattered to receive that mark based primarily from that 3rd place Cleeve Hurdle finish so ratings do not always follow through to wins! Finished a disappointing 6th in the 3m novice hurdle at Punchestown though he was heavily backed into 5/2 second fav. I think he’s got a bit to prove on that run. It may have come from a long season with it being his 8th run or it may just be that when stepped up into grade 1 company she was found out. After such a convincing win in the Pertemps I think she’s worth another chance but it could go either way with him. There’s also the chance they follow the path of Mall Dini and go chasing this year?

    My position so far:

    Nichols Canyon - 2.5 pts at 9/1 plus 5pts in multiples.

    Very tempted to add UNWIMH and Lil Rockafella as well. Those 3 set a high standard for me and it’ll take plenty of improvement to get to that level.
    Last edited by jono; 09-17-2017 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    I found a stat today, that Presenting Percy's time in the Pertemps this year, would have won every single renewal of the Albert Bartlet, with the exception of Bobs Worth. I will be backing PP whenever we find out where he goes... (at 33's with Skybet I might but a free bet or 2 on!)

    Good post - interesting regarding the Sefton - having a look a back there are quite a few horses who have run well/won/placed at the Cheltenham festival too as well as the ones you mentioned (Thistlecrack and Cole Harden)... You've got Bellshill (RSA) and Potters Legend (Kim Muir) this year... At Fishers Cross (World Hurdle) and Fingal Bay before the years you picked out too, so clearly form to note. Based on that I'd be a little bit interested in The Worlds End BUT it is Beyond Conceit that is putting me off. A closing 2nd in the Sefton, he came a well beaten 4th at Cheltenham and looks pretty well held by the "top" novice stayers IMO, and TWE hasn't exactly put him away easily? 12s looks very short for me, I think the target must be guarenteed for the price to be what it is? I will of course re-assess if he does tie in with any of the main market rivals early in the season...but a bad price for me at this stage, despite the Sefton 'thing'.

    I have already backed NC 1.5 pts E/W and UNWIMH 2.5 pt Win so at 25/1 it seems a bit silly not to back Lil Rockerfeller as he split them and they're clearly closely matched on the 2017 Stayers Hurdle run.

    Has there been any talk of Lil Rockerfeller going chasing? I imagine not because he is pretty small... but being 6 and open to improvement, I can't see why he wouldn't be in the mix again... I have NC in a few multiples and I am tempted to leave UNWIMH as just a win, and top up NC and LR each way... I can't see UNWIMH improving but the others can.... and apart from Presenting Percy, I will need to see it to believe it for all the others, with honourable mention to Barters Hill who I absolutely love - but couldn't even dream about backing at 20/1

  3. #3
    top write up , full of possibles.

    Not got big view on race even though had NC last year for few quid.

    Im a Faugheen man and if he comes here the rest can forget it.

    But thats the if?

    Of the others NC will carry my money again or possibly Penhill , but its early days.

  4. #4
    I have quite a return coming back if Harry can get revenge over NC this season. Could be another cracker this season

  5. #5
    Senior Member Istabraq's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Was there anything found to be wrong with Harry last March ?
    I'm struggling to see how he wins this seasons renewal if only matching that level of form, and this coming from someone who had a number of vouchers on him to win last seasons Stayers, if that's as good as he is this seasons race will need to be 4-5lb worse for him to go close, and 10 come March....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Istabraq View Post
    Was there anything found to be wrong with Harry last March ?
    I'm struggling to see how he wins this seasons renewal if only matching that level of form, and this coming from someone who had a number of vouchers on him to win last seasons Stayers, if that's as good as he is this seasons race will need to be 4-5lb worse for him to go close, and 10 come March....
    From Harry Fry...

    The 9-year-old JP McManus representative was the division leader last season winning four times. However, there was an overriding disappointment as the apple of Fry’s eye failed to sparkle on his coronation at the Cheltenham Festival, managing only a battling third as Ruby Walsh and Nicholls Canyon swooped;

    “That was so gutting to see him not give a true account of himself, but we suspect he was not 100% and he wasn’t himself that day.”

  7. #7
    Senior Member Istabraq's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Thanks Kev.
    They would have scanned and tested everything after the race so nothing obvious and he went to Punchy five weeks later and won, so perhaps just a little off colour at Chelt....

  8. #8
    Positive words from connections

  9. #9
    Having read somewhere that Calett Mad is going hurdling I might be tempted with an EW bet if the odds were good enough - can't see him priced up anywhere mind. Maybe I'm mis-remembering what I read

  10. #10
    Senior Member jono's Avatar
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    Sep 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison Savannah View Post
    Having read somewhere that Calett Mad is going hurdling I might be tempted with an EW bet if the odds were good enough - can't see him priced up anywhere mind. Maybe I'm mis-remembering what I read
    I haven't heard anything about him b possible another Munir & Souede horse to potentially add to the mix in here then! L'ami Serge looks to be a certain contender following Henderson's comments:

    We might not start over three miles with him but that is where he is almost certain to end up and you would love to think he could be a serious player in that staying hurdling division.
    Mark Howard mentions Wholestone is apparently being trained for the Stayers Hurdle in mind as well. I hadn't realised but Wholestone returned home lame so his AB run can be upgraded slightly on that basis.

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