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Stayers Hurdle Preview: 20/1 Cheltenham Festival winner too big a price to ignore

the storyteller

“The price differential between the two horses is just too big to ignore.”

The Stayers Hurdle is the featured race on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival and we have picked out a 20/1 selection who we feel is overpriced.

Won last year by Lisnagar Oscar at odds of 50/1, this race threw up a shock as favourite Paisley Park disappointed trying to regain his crown from the year before.

stayers hurdle preview

Stayers Hurdle preview.

Despite that below-par performance, Paisley Park is the 10/3 favourite for this year’s renewal, marginally ahead of 4/1 Thyme Hill in the betting.

Thyme Hill was an unlucky fourth in an extremely competitive Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle which was ultimately won by Monkfish – who is now a 5/6 favourite for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at this year’s festival.

Next in the market is Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle winner for the last two years Sire Du Berlais.

Run over the same course and distance, the Pertemps turned out to be ran at a faster time than the Stayers on the same card which means Sire Du Berlais brings good form to the table.

the storyteller stayers

The Storyteller

However, it’s the horse that finished runner up in the Pertemps that has interested us for this year’s Stayers Hurdle.

The Storyteller – trained by Gordon Elliot – has ran at the last three Cheltenham Festivals. A horse that regularly mixes it up between fences and hurdles, it can be argued that his form this season is better than anything the 10-year-old has produced to-date.

The Storyteller went down 1/2 length in that Pertemps Final, receiving three pounds from his stablemate Sire Du Berlais.

Nevertheless, there wasn’t much between them on the day and in his subsequent starts since, the 2018 Cheltenham Festival winner’s form – after a pulled up effort in Galway – reads 1-1-2-1-1-2-2.

Interestingly enough, in his penultimate start at the Christmas Festival in Leopardstown, the Storyteller reversed the form with Sire Du Berlais, beating him by 3/4 of a length into second off level weights.

The Storyteller was ridden to pick up the pieces but still managed to do so. With Elliot’s horses not firing at Christmas, expect both horses to reverse the form with Flooring Porter – a 16/1 shot for the Stayers – who won the race.

He then ran in the Irish Gold Cup and ended up second in that renewal, two lengths off Kemboy. Delta Work, Minella Indo and Melon were the three horses behind him.

Gordon Elliott

It seemed like the perfect preparation for the Stayers Hurdle and his trainer said as much in his Racing Post Cheltenham Stable Tour.

“He’s won nearly half a million euros in prize-money, which is a fair achievement,” Elliott said of The Storyteller.

“He’s been a model of consistency all season and the plan is to run in the Stayers’ Hurdle and then on to the Grand National.”

Sire Du Berlais is currently best-priced 9/1 with his stablemate as big as 20/1 with some firms.

While The Storyteller still has a small bit to find on last year’s Cheltenham form, the price differential between the two horses is just too big to ignore.

stayers hurdle preview

Recommended Bet:

The Storyteller (Stayers Hurdle) 20/1 1pt each-way (Bet 365 & William Hill)

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