Cheltenham Festival 2019: Stayers Hurdle Favourites

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Mar 11, 2019 10:27 PM EDT

Penhill has the opportunity to win his second consecutive Stayers Hurdle at this year's Cheltenham Festival, which would put him on the path to beating Big Buck's' four consecutive Stayers Hurdle titles.

Taking a look on Paddy Power for the odds for the Cheltenham Festival 2019, the defending champion is currently the joint fourth favourite at 11/2. With this in mind, we will take a look at the favourites for this year's Stayers Hurdle and their form as they enter the race.

Penhill - 11/2

The defending champion hasn't raced since Punchestown in April of last year, where he finished in second place in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle behind Faugheen. He ran as the favourite in the race, but finished a massive 13-lengths behind the victor in what was a disappointing result after his Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle success.

A lack of race practice could hinder his chances of securing victory this year, but he didn't run as the favourite last year, meaning he could once again surprise the field.

Samcro - 11/2

Unlike Penhill, Samcro has raced this season, with some mixed results. He started the season with two second place finishes, firstly in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal in Ireland, where he ran as the 4/9 favourite. He was then made favourite for the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, at a price of 6/5, but was seen off by Buveur D'Air.

His most recent race was in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown where he was once again named the favourite, this time at 6/4. He was even less impressive in this race, finishing a disappointing fifth-place out of six horses. His form will worry trainer Gordon Elliot with the Cheltenham Festival fast approaching.

Apples Jade - 4/1

The third favourite is Apples Jade, who, quite honestly, has had a fantastic start to the new season, winning all four races so far. Impressive wins at Navan, Fairyhouse and two at Leopardstown will have given trainer Gordon Elliot a lot of confidence heading into the festival.

All four races were won by over ten lengths and the most spectacular of these was in the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, where Apples Jade finished an incredible 26 lengths clear of second placed Early Doors. Such fine form will surely have bettors backing the horse as we near the race.

Quite a contrast for Gordon Elliot and he'll be keeping a keen eye on Apples Jade on race day.

Presenting Percy - 11/4

This year's favourite to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Presenting Percy, but in the Stayers Hurdle, he is currently the second favourite. He has raced just once this season, finishing first in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park. Although it was a narrow victory over second placed Bapaume, the fact that he is favourite in the Gold Cup certainly means he is worth considering for this race too.

Paisley Park - 15/8

The favourite for this year's Stayers Hurdle is Paisley Park, who, much like Apples Jade, has had a superb start to the season. Paisley Park has also won all four races that he has competed in so far this season, although most of his wins have been tight affairs.

The one exception was in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham, where Paisley Park, ridden by Aidan Coleman, finished 12-lengths clear of West Approach. Expect the 7-year-old Irish horse to be in the leading pack during the race and don't be surprised if he fends off challenges from Presenting Percy and Apples Jade to finish as this year's Stayer Hurdle winner.

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