Our Cheltenham Festival ante-post series heads into the final Grade 1 race of day three, in the form of the Stayers’ Hurdle.
The three-mile contest has seen the racing greats of Inglis Drever and Big Buck’s claim multiple successes in the race.
Staying talents Thistlecrack and Paisley Park have stormed home in the Grade 1 hurdle in recent years as well.
Our team have made their ante-post predictions for the contest, in hope of pinning down a winner early on.
Here are three runners to consider for next year’s renewal of the Stayers’ Hurdle.
RONALD PUMP (25/1 – Various)
The runner-up behind shock winner Lisnagar Oscar back in 2020, Ronald Pump could well go one better in the 2022 edition of the Stayers’ Hurdle.
Matthew Smith’s recruit showed promise at the beginning of last season, finishing half a length behind the classy Honeysuckle in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle in November.
However, the eight-year-old missed Cheltenham due to injury and returned in April with a respectable effort in the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown.
If Smith can get Ronald Pump back to his best, his 25/1 price tag for the Stayers’ Hurdle is majorly appealing at this stage.
MRS MILNER (33/1 – bet365)
A game winner of the Pertemps last season, Mrs Milner could well return on the Thursday to tackle three miles in the Grade 1 contest.
Paul Nolan’s mare hacked up over hurdles at Prestbury Park in March, dispatching of some handy rivals to win by five lengths.
She has only made three starts over this distance to date and she could well have more to offer over this trip next season.
With a current price of 33/1, Mrs Milner may well be worth taking a punt on at this early stage.
THOMAS DARBY (66/1 – Unibet)
Olly Murphy’s Thomas Darby ran a cracker in last year’s contest, and he could well be targeted for the Stayers’ once again this season.
The gelding seemed to stay the three-mile trip at Cheltenham and the eight-year-old could have more in his locker over this distance.
Murphy’s recruit has placed on all three starts at Prestbury Park in his career and it seems that he sparks into life when running at the Gloucestershire track.
Thomas Darby’s price of 66/1 at this stage is incredible at and he is definitely one to keep an eye on for this contest.