Cheltenham tips: Paddy Power punters flock to support Paisley Park – but Ruby Walsh thinks they could be wrong

Paddy could be hit in the pocket if Paisley Park triumphs at Cheltenham - but Ruby doesn't think he will!

Paisley Park Cheltenham Festival Stayers' Hurdle 2019

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

A win for Paisley Park in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival may well be bad news for the bean counters at Power Tower – but Ruby Walsh doesn’t think it will be panic stations.

The Emma Lavelle-trained star is currently the antepost favourite for the 3m contest, having already won the race back in 2019.

That victory was part of a seven-race winning streak but Paisley Park could only manage seventh behind Lisnagar Oscar in last season’s renewal and punters are now betting on him to bounce back.

Paddy Power punters are flocking to support Paisley Park and, speaking on the latest episode of our ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, our trader Frank Hickey said: “If you’re looking at the antepost book, we’ve got a number of significant losers, which shows you how competitive the race actually is.

Paisley Park Cheltenham Cleeve Hurdle January 25, 2020

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“Paisley Park, Ronald Pump, Lisnagar Oscar, Thyme Hill and Sire Du Berlais. They’re all chunky enough liabilities, which is probably not brilliant on our part.

“When you look at the non-runner money back book it’s just Paisley Park and to a lesser extent Flooring Porter that are our only real losers.

“We’ll probably want to get Paisley Park beaten on the day. The only thing about it is that the antepost books – that despite being very lively for Cheltenham – are still only be a small percentage of what you would take on the day.”

Here at Paddy Power we’re currently offering non-runner money back on all races at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle has certainly captured the public’s attention.

Thyme Hill Paisley Park Ascot December 19, 2020

Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips for Cheltenham 2021

Paisley Park has enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Thyme Hill this season, getting beaten by one-and-a-half lengths at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle before reversing the result in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

The clash between these two leading contenders, over 12 flights around the New Course at Prestbury Park, is set to be one of the highlights of the 2021 meeting. Ruby believes the match-up is excellent for racing in general – and he thinks Paddy Power punters backing Paisley Park are on the wrong horse.

“There has to be clashes in every sport, be it football, rugby, athletics or horse racing,” said our resident jockey-turned-pundit.

“You need those clashes and you need big names. The Stayers’ Hurdle division is lucky in that it has big names at the minute.

 

Paisley-Park-&-Faugheen

“You have previous champ Paisley Park while Thyme Hill was a good novice last year. They were first and second at Newbury before the roles were reversed at Ascot.

“The Thyme Hill team will think they can turn it back around, just as the Paisley Park team thought after Newbury – and they were right. All is set fair for them to go at each other at Cheltenham.

“This will be a really good race, and it’s easy to see why people are split between the two.

“Frank is saying that most people seem to only want to back Paisley Park antepost, but I’m a Thyme Hill fan.

 

Thyme Hill

“Paisley Park’s struggle in last year’s race was probably a one-off but Thyme Hill is the most likely winner. I’ve been a fan of his and I fancied him in the Albert Bartlett last year so I think he’ll get his revenge.”

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

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