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 17th March 2022 | Time: 15:30.
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The Stayers Hurdle, previously known as the World Hurdle, is a grade one race that has been 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 there are 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 have taken over sponsorship and it is now known as the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle.
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 was doubled to £200.
When the race’s most successful jockey Ruby Walsh won the race 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 ridden by 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 Mullisn on board. Connections earned £135,048 from the £240,000 on offer.
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 favourites 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 went on to win 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 he went on to win the King George VI Chase, beating Cue Card by 3.25 lengths.
In the years since no horse has won the race twice.
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 the Stewart Family and Andrea & Graham Wylie. The two groups have won the race four times each. Between 2005-2017 they owned eight of the winners.
The race has had six 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 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 £240,000 in 2021 with the winner earning £135,048.
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|