The Stayers Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race run on the New Course.
The Stayers Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race run during the Cheltenham Festival. It is run on the New Course over a distance of 3 miles (4,828m) and there are twelve hurdles to be jumped. It will take place on Thursday 14th March 2024 | Time: 15:30.
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The Stayers Hurdle, previously known as the World Hurdle, is a grade one race run since 1912.
At that time, it was called the ‘Stayers Selling Hurdle’, and at the end of the first race, the winning horse was sold for £50.
The Stayers Hurdle is open to horses that are four years of age or older and is the leading long-distance hurdle event over the National Hunt calendar.
The race is famous for having multiple race winners. Since it started, eight horses have gone on to win the race more than once, and five of those horses have defended their wins.
It is run on the New Course, is 3 miles long, and has 12 hurdles for the horses to jump.
In 1993, it was moved to the Thursday of the festival and has stayed there since.
In 2005, Ladbrokes took sponsorship of the race and renamed it the World Hurdle. This new name only lasted until 2017, when Sun Bet sponsored it and reverted it back to the Stayers’ Hurdle although to many fans, it is still known by its previous name.
As of 2020, Paddy Power has taken over sponsorship.
The first time the race was run in 1912, the winner of the race was Aftermath. The jockey was J. W. Pullen and the horse went off as the 11/10 favourite.
£100 was awarded to them for winning. The runner-up of the race received £10. The following year, the winnings for the race were doubled to £200.
When the race’s most successful jockey Ruby Walsh, won for the first time onboard Big Bucks in 2009, the prize money of the then Ladbrokes World Hurdle was £148,226.
Ten years later, and in 2019, the prize money was starkly different. The overall purse for the race was £325,000, and the winner received £182,878!
That went to Paisley Park who was partnered with Aidan Coleman. This was a first for all involved in the race.
The trainer, owner, jockey, and horse had never won this race before. The seven-year-old horse was the 11/8 favourite for the race.
2020 produced a real outsider win in the form of Lisnagar Oscar, who went off at odds of 50/1. With no changes to the prize money, his connections, including trainer Rebecca Curtis, also took home close to £184K.
Due to circumstances in 2021, all prize money was reduced, including for this race. Trained by Gavin Cromwell, Flooring Porter was the winner with jockey Danny Mullins on board. Connections earned £135,048 from the £240,000 on offer.
Prize money was restored in 2022 when Flooring Porter once again bagged the win for trainer Gavin Cromwell.
Sire Du Berlais surprised everybody when outing his odds of 33/1 when he won the race in 2023. Running in JP McManus colours, he was trained by Gordon Eliott and ridden by Mark Walsh.
The race has produced some notable winners in its 107-year existence, the first of which was Silver Bay in 1913.
It was the first horse to ever win the race multiple times and the first time a horse had retained their trophy. Silver Bay won the race by just 1.5 lengths in 1913 and 2 lengths in 1914.
Dorans Pride was another big winner in 1995. The 11/4 favourite went on to win the Power Gold Cup in 1997, which is now the Ryanair Gold Cup, and takes place at Fairyhouse in Ireland each year on Easter Monday.
Big Bucks is probably the most famous horse in relation to the Stayers’ Hurdle. He won it first in 2009 and then won it three more times.
Unfortunately, in 2014, he came fifth in the World Hurdle and couldn’t match the record of Golden Miller, a five-time Gold Cup winner, with five consecutive wins in one Cheltenham race.
More recently, the big winner has been Thistlecrack. He won the race in 2016, and later that year, went on to win the King George VI Chase, beating Cue Card by 3.25 lengths.
In the years since, only one horse has won the Stayers Hurdle twice, and that is Flooring Porter for trainer Gavin Cromwell, in 2021 and 2022.
The Stayer’s Hurdle is a popular race for horses to try and retain their crown. For this reason, there have been many multiple winners in terms of jockeys, trainers and owners.
The most successful horse in the Stayers’ Hurdle history is, no surprise, Big Bucks. He has won the race four times and all consecutively.
This also gave him another record in the Stayer’s Hurdle by being the horse with the most consecutive wins.
His reign started in 2009 and ended in 2012. He didn’t race in the 2013 Cheltenham Festival but did in 2014 and came a disappointing fifth.
The leading jockey in the race is also the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ruby Walsh has won this race an impressive five times, guiding Big Bucks on all four of his wins and Nichols Canyon in 2017. Ruby Walsh won’t add to this record, as he retired from racing in April 2019.
Paul Nicholls is the leading trainer with four winners. He trained Big Bucks to all four of his wins but hasn’t managed a winner in this race since.
He broke the 23-year record set by Fulke Walwyn who trained three winners over a five-year period.
The race’s leading owners is shared by JP McManus, the Stewart Family and Andrea & Graham Wylie. The three groups have won the race four times each.
The race has had seven double winners, one treble winner, and one quadruple winner.
The Stayers Hurdle Course
The World Hurdle became so named in 2005 when Ladbrokes took over sponsorship of the race. Prior to date, and from 1972, it had been known as the Stayers’ Hurdle. When The Sun took over sponsorship in 2017, the reverted back to the name ‘Stayers Hurdle’. The race is the top long-distance hurdle event in the National Hunt calendar, and is the feature race on the third day of the Festival.
The race was dominated by four consecutive victories for Big Bucks in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh. Other great Stayers Hurdle champions include two time winner Baracouda and three time winner Inglis Drever. The 2021 and 2022 winner was Flooring Porter for trainer Gavin Cromwell and jockey Danny Mullins.
The Stayers Hurdle is run over a distance of 3 miles (4,828 metres)
During its running there are 12 hurdles to be jumped.
It is the leading long-distance hurdle event in the National Hunt calendar.
Most successful horse since 1972 with 4 wins is Big Buck’s – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
The Stayers Hurdle offered a total prize fund of £325,000 in 2023 with the winner earning £183K.
St Patrick’s Day
|13:30||Marsh Novices’ Chase||2m abt 4f||Chase|
|14:10||Pertemps Network Final (A Handicap Hurdle Race)||Abt 3m||Hurdle|
|14:50||Ryanair Chase||2m abt 5f||Chase|
|15:30||Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle||abt 3m||Hurdle|
|16:10||Paddy Power Plate (Handicap Chase)||2m abt 5f||Chase|
|16:50||Mares Novices’ Hurdle||3m abt 2f||Chase|
|17:30||The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup (0-145)||3m abt 2f||Chase|