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stayers hurdle cheltenham festival day 3 14/03/2024 sport preview

Stayers Hurdle – Cheltenham Festival Day 3 14/03/2024

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Selections

Stayers Hurdle 14/03/2024:
  • Teahupoo
  • Irish Point
  • Crambo

Stayers Hurdle – Cheltenham Festival Day 3 14/03/2024

The National Hunt Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, also known as the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, is one of the newest races at the Cheltenham Festival, having first been staged in 2016.the race has been dominated so far by Willie Mullins, who has trained all five winners.

3:30 – Winner: £59,083.5 Runners: 39 Going: Soft Distance: 2m0f179y

10 Year Official Rating Trends

  • Highest Winning Official Rating:   168
  • Lowest Winning Official Rating:    152
  • Average Winning Official Rating:  159

 

Teahupoo:

The gelding who will forever be known as the horse who ended the unbeaten run of the great mare Honeysuckle, Teahupoo heads into the Stayers Hurdle as a worthy favourite based on his close-up third in last season’s renewal.  He travelled very well throughout the race and he looked the likely winner turning in however he couldn’t quite stay on well enough and he finished second (demoted a place to third) behind the Cheltenham specialist Sire Du Berlais.  He returned to action this season in the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December where he defeated the odds on Impaire Et Passe by a length with a further 12 lengths back to the very useful mare Ashroe Diamond.  There is no doubt that Teahupoo comes here with major credentials and he will be a popular choice for many punters.  However there is also a feeling that the New Course at Cheltenham places greater emphasis on the ability to stay well and if there is a slight doubt about Teahupoo, it may be that his ability to truly see out a stamina test is in question.

Irish Point:

Irish Point, in the same ownership and trained by the same trainer as Teahupoo (Rabcour and Gordon Elliott) is a very solid and progressive 6 year-old.  A dual Grade 1 winning hurdler, he won the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December by an easy 11 lengths from Asterion Forlonge.  As easy as it was, there was also a feeling that it wasn’t the strongest Grade 1 ever run and he will definitely have to step up again to succeed here.  However given that he is still a young horse, there is every chance that he will indeed improve again.  There is also a feeling that the horse will benefit from better ground as he is very likely to be one of the quickest horses in the field and similar to his stablemate Teahupoo, it may be that the less the emphasis is on stamina, the better the chance of Irish Point.  Jockey bookings may also be revealing here if both Rabcour horses turn up for the race and the choice of Jack Kennedy will be of obvious interest.

Note:  Irish Point may yet be rerouted to the Champion Hurdle with the defection of Constitution Hill.

Crambo:

The progressive Crambo looks to be the main hope of the home team and this horse just keeps getting better.  Last season’s EBF Novices Final winner at Sandown, he started off this season by winning an Aintree Handicap off a mark of 133 and he won that race with any amount in hand.  Stepped up to 3m at Haydock next time he finished like a train to take third place giving almost a stone away to the very progressive winner, Slate Lane.  Frankly Crambo looked a little unlucky having seemingly hit a flat spot before coming home better than anything.  He was then stepped up to Grade 1 company for the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December where he got the better of the admirable Paisley Park by a short-head in a memorable finish.  Having followed this horse since his bumper days, it is difficult to tell where the bottom of his reserves lay as he seems to regularly find all that is necessary to win as opposed to knocking out one’s eye.  And so conversely, it is difficult to say where the ceiling of his progression may be too.  He races here off a revised mark of 157 (some 24lbs above his mark at Aintree in November) and the average winning mark of the past 10 winners of the Stayers Hurdle is 164.  Therefore both on his official rating and his rate of progression, he has every chance of being very competitive in this season’s renewal and so long as the going description has form of soft in it then he is likely to be right in the mix.

Of the rest of the potential protagonists, the amazing Noble Yeats would have to be considered.  There would be very few horses that could win a Cleeve Hurdle after winning a Grand National but this fellow has done just that.  Similar to Crambo, he nailed Paisley Park in a photo finish to the Cleeve and it puts him in the frame here.  Sir Gerhard would be a fascinating runner if turning up and last season’s winner Sire Du Berlais would be winning for the fourth time at the Festival if winning here.  However whether any of these three horses are good enough to challenge the current top order is the million dollar question.

Stayers Hurdle Summary:

It is difficult to split the Gordon Elliott pair of Teahupoo and Irish Point with the former being officially rated 3lb superior to his stablemate.  If both turn up for the race (and that is in doubt) then the choice of Jack Kennedy will help punters however it could literally be the toss of a coin that determines the jockey’s choice of mount.

Either way both horses will face a serious challenge if Crambo turns up fit and well and at the top of his game.  Track and trip look ideal for the Feargal O’Brien trained gelding and he is the selection to announce his arrival on the scene of the Stayers Hurdle landscape.

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