Rory’s Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle non runner money back
The Cheltenham Festival 2023 is just over two weeks away so we’ve got jump jockey icon turned tactical guru Ruby Walsh and top pundit Rory Delargy with us every week to hopefully get you more bang for your buck.
The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is the fourth race on Day 3 of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and the lads have been looking at the markets to hopefully find you a winner.
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Rory Delargy: Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle
The Stayers’ Hurdle is one of a few Championship races which look very open, although there’s a feeling that Blazing Khal could be something special if able to avoid both injury (beset with niggling problems throughout his career) and the dreaded “bounce factor” having won the Boyne Hurdle at Navan very impressively after a long lay-off.
The bare form of the Boyne is not enough to make Blazing Khal a hot favourite at Cheltenham, with a few of those in behind having become disappointing, but the style of his win was jaw-dropping, and he will benefit from the return to 3m at Cheltenham.
Another negative for Blazing Khal is that his jockey – the trainer’s son Philip Byrnes – is unable to use his 7lb claim in the Stayers’ Hurdle – even though that was also true in the Boyne Hurdle that they won recently. It will be a lack of experience at Cheltenham, rather than his inability to draw that claim, which is the worry for the Byrnes. Given his absence prior to Navan, I’d not want to invest in him until seeing him in the paddock first, but he appeals as the star player in this race.
Flooring Porter has won the last two renewals, and trainer Gavin Cromwell is talking positively about him returning from injury to defend his crown. If he is 100 per cent ready, he is a huge player, as Cheltenham seems to suit his blend of speed and stamina well, and is almost certainly his ideal track. He’s headstrong and can hang off the bridle, but the undulations at Cheltenham helped Danny Mullins to keep him in check. Danny also knows how to work his awkward steering, as he showed with a ride-of-the-meeting performance 12 months ago.
Teahupoo was favourite for a while after winning the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, but he has shown all his best form when racing on very soft ground and going right-handed. He bolted up on heavy ground at Gowran last year and was expected to go well in the Champion Hurdle, but ran a stinker, and he’s the one of the market leaders I’d be keenest to oppose, unless it came up like the Bog of Allen.
Marie’s Rock could go for the Mares’ Hurdle, but I’d respect her chances if she came here, as she appears to have progressed again this season. She can take a grip, but was almost unrideable a couple of seasons ago, and has become much more tractable.
Home By The Lee beat Ashdale Bob in the Lismullen Hurdle at Naas and again in the Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle, and has improved for being allowed to race away from rivals this season. That’s possible at Cheltenham, but isn’t easy, as he found last year (sixth to Flooring Porter) and Ashdale Bob can reverse the form having run well in the Coral Cup here 12 months ago.
Verdict: It’s got to be Blazing Khal for me.
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Rory’s Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle Tips:
- Get all the latest Horse Racing News and Racing Tips at Paddy Power News
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