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Stayers’ Hurdle Preview : Sam Spinner Has The Best Staying Hurdle Form This Season

Cheltenham Preview
Last Updated : 12th March, 2018 By Harvey T
Cheltenham Racecourse
Thursday, March 15th at 3.30pm
Live on ITV
See Stats

Unowhatimeanharry was the odds-on favourite to win the Stayers’ Hurdle last year but is now as big as 12/1 to win this year’s race. A third place finish in 2017 was disappointing but Unowhatimeanharry gained some compensation by winning at Punchestown. That was a demanding race and took a lot out of the horse and the form has dipped this season. However, Unowhatimeanharry took the best form of all the runners into the race last year and can make the payout places this time. You can back Unowhatimeanharry or your selection using your Cheltenham free bet. 

The winner of the championship race for hurdlers last season was Nichols Canyon but sadly the horse will be absent this year due to a fatal accident racing in Ireland. Nichols Canyon beat Lil Rockerfeller by three quarters of a length with Unowhatimeanharry a further three and a half lengths adrift in third place. Strictly on that form Unowwhatimeanhaary (12/1 with Betfair 18+ Ts and Cs Apply) has something to find with Lil Rockerfeller but had shown much better form in leading up to the Cheltenham race.     

The New One is another runner that could make the frame but this is a new distance for the horse. Several attempts to win the Champion Hurdle have failed so the horse is being targeted at the stayer’s race. On past form The New One is the best horse in the race but other horses are proven over three miles. The New One looked as good as ever when finishing second behind My Tent Or Yours in The International at Cheltenham in December. My Tent Or Yours is a leading contender for the Champion Hurdle. The New One beat Melon by one length and is proven at Grade 1 level at Cheltenham. 

The Cheltenham Festival has a unique atmosphere and some horses relish the environment while others fail to produce their true form. The four main championship races have all produced multiple winners this century and many festival races are won by horses that have run well at the meeting in the past. The New One has an edge overt the rest of the field on festival form so the horse can make the frame but winning the race looks beyond him and others are preferred. 

The most visually impressive staying hurdler of the season has been Sam Spinner (4/1 with William Hill 18+ Ts and Cs Apply) who has been the ante post favourite for some time and that status is deserved. The horse was most outstanding in winning a competitive handicap hurdle over two miles six furlongs at Haydock in November. Sam Spinner produced a better effort on ratings in the Long Walk Hurdle at Newbury the following month. Unowhatimeanharry and Lil Rockerfeller were well beaten and conditions were the same as the race at Cheltenham this week.   

Supasundae beat Faugheen in Ireland in February by over two lengths but the value of the form is questionable. Faugheen is clearly not the machine that won the Champion Hurdle in 2015 so Supasundae might have beaten a horse in decline. On the balance of the form Sam Spinner is the most likely winner of the 2018 Stayers’ Hurdle. Tip

SAM SPINNER has the form to justify favouritism for the Stayers' Hurdle 

Get odds of 9/2 on Sam Spinner with William Hill. (18+ Ts and Cs Apply)

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  • It is a Grade 1 race open to horses aged four and older.
  • The race distance is 3 miles and there are 12 hurdles.
  • The stayers’ hurdle is the most prestigious long distance hurdle race of the season.
  • The race was first run in 1912 and in recent years has had several title sponsors.
  • Big Buck’s is the only four time winner (2009 to 2012).
  • The leading jockey since 1972 is Ruby Walsh with five wins.
  • Paul Nicholls is the leading trainer due to Big Buck’s wins.  
  • Baracouda, Inglis Drever and Big Buck’s are multiple winners this century.
  • Six favourites have won in the last 10 years.
  • The average price of the money over that spell is 4/1.

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