Stayers Hurdle Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Danny Mullins

Flooring Porter

J: Danny Mullins
T: Gavin Cromwell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 164
Days: 79

Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter won this last year with a bold front running display, making every yard of the running to beat Sire Du Berlais.

It took Flooring Porter five attempts to get off the mark over hurdles and was then campaigned mainly in handicaps.

Going from being rated 122 over hurdles, he struck up a sequence of victories to win off 136 and go to Leopardstown at Christmas rated 150.

There he won his first Grade 1 when making all the running easily.

He’s very head strong and has struggled to hold his form since winning the Stayers Hurdle and fell on his first run this season when travelling well in the Lismullen Hurdle.

Last seen being beaten by Klassical Dream trying to defend his Christmas Hurdle crown.

He’s very keen going and might get too lit up with a crowd at Cheltenham.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Tom O'Brien

Thyme Hill

J: Tom O'Brien
T: Philip Hobbs
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 161
Days: 89

After running in one of the best Albert Bartlett’s we’ve seen in recent years, Thyme Hill looked a hot prospect for staying hurdles in open company.

He was an unlucky 4th in the Bartlett having to switch for room but immediately got off the mark in open company when winning a grade 2 at Newbury when beating Paisley Park. He had that form reversed narrowly at Ascot when being collared late in the Long Walk.

He rounded out the season with a brilliant win at Aintree to hold off Roksana in a tight finish. This season hasn’t quite gone to plan with him being beaten in a grade 1 over in France on bottomless ground.

That took plenty out of him and he failed to give Champ a real race in the Long Walk this season to be 2nd.

Given time to freshen up will help him and he’s an outstanding 3 mile hurdler when on song.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Paul Townend

Klassical Dream

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 166
Days: 49

Another headstrong type. Klassical Dream rose to prominence for Willie Mullins when winning the Supreme Novice Hurdle in 2019 and then following that up at Punchestown.

Thought of as a good Champion Hurdle prospect he went off a short priced favourite for the Matheson Hurdle but finished last of 5 and ended up having a long break off the back of that. He jumped hurdles big and bold but connections have resisted the urge to go chasing.

Returning to racing at Punchestown last season, he overcame a mammoth lay off and won easily in his first attempt over 3 miles to beat James Du Berlais easily.

This season he looked the star of the staying hurdle division and won the Christmas Hurdle well. Sent off favourite for the Galmoy Hurdle, he flattened out late and was beaten at odds of 1/3.

He gets very lit up but probably has the best form in the field if keeping a lid on things.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Jonathan Moore


J: Jonathan Moore
T: D M Christie
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 152
Days: 131

10 year old Kosher is at the foot of the betting currently and has been mixing it over both hurdles and fences this campaign. A seasoned veteran he’s had 20 runs under rules and has won 7 of his outings.

He barely spent any time over hurdles initially before being sent chasing by Willie Mullins. His form quickly flattened out over fences and he found himself going back over hurdles and tasting success in a couple of handicaps.

Again though his form petered out and he’s not won since May of last year until a switch of yards and another go at 3 miles saw him win a handicap hurdle at odds of 80/1.

His handicapping exploits come with merit but he’s not of graded quality and is unlikely to trouble the market principles.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Jonjo O'Neill Jr


J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 163
Days: 47

Named for A P McCoy, Champ had a big reputation for Nicky Henderson and won the Challow hurdle in his debut season over hurdles before coming a close 2nd in the Ballymore.

Taken chasing after that, he started to show his quirks over fences. He won a brace of chases easily at Newbury before falling 2 out in the Dipper when having the race at his mercy.

Stepping up in trip for that seasons’ RSA he rattled home late to overcome bad jumping and catch Minella Indo up the hill to snatch victory.

A dreadful run in the Gold Cup saw him pull up last season as his jumping fell apart. Dropped to hurdles for this campaign has seen him be a revelation over timber.

Winning the Long Walk he was then just outstayed by a miracle performance by Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle.
He looks better over hurdles and certainly has a big chance.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Adam Wedge

Lisnagar Oscar

J: Adam Wedge
T: Rebecca Curtis
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 147
Days: 47

A surprise winner of this race back in 2020, Lisnagar Oscar threatened to be a good horse over hurdles during his debut season but took a while to hit the heights he looked capable of.

A solid 5th in the Albert Bartlett in his novice campaign then saw him come 3rd behind Champ at Aintree.

Taken chasing off the back of that he failed to win over the bigger obstacles and didn’t look natural over fences. Dropped to hurdles he ran poorly in handicap company a few times before placing in the Cleeve at 50/1.

He then won the Stayers’ Hurdle at 50/1 beating Ronald Pump. Enjoying the hard pace set by Apples Jade.

However he’s failed to win since and hasn’t looked anywhere near the same quality he showed 2 years ago.

He ran ok in the Cleeve again but looks to have bundles to find to get competitive.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Aidan Coleman

Paisley Park

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Emma Lavelle
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 161
Days: 47

Despite struggling to win in novice company, he really came into his own with more running. Beaten into 13th in the Albert Bartlett at the end of his novice campaign.

He then went on an absolute tear in his second season over hurdles and won all 5 of his starts. Taking the Cleve hurdle with ease before winning the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2019.

Wins haven’t been as easy to come by since. Winning at Newbury and the Cleeve again, he then faltered in the 2020 renewal as he had a heart defect which saw him only manage 7th place. Wars with Thyme Hill last season saw him run a creditable 3rd in last season’s race.

This season looked to have exposed Paisley Park. He finished 3rd on his first three outings but he bounced back to himself when winning the Cleeve despite blowing the start.

He stays all day and could roll back the years and blow the roof off Cheltenham.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Nico de Boinville

Song For Someone

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Tom Symonds
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 151
Days: 40

Tom Symonds' 7 year old is a strange addition to this race as the majority of his form has been over 2 miles.

A decent juvenile hurdler, he’s improved with his races and graduated from the handicap ranks to win some decent pots. Notably Grade 2 wins over hurdles at Kempton, Ascot and Cheltenham.

He’s since struggled in Grade 2 events over 2 miles and 2.5 miles. He ran well to be 2nd a couple of times but couldn’t live with Goshen when last seen at Sandown in a listed race.

This will be his first try at 3 miles and his form leaves plenty to be required to get truly competitive with stamina to prove.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
Kevin Sexton

Royal Kahala

J: Kevin Sexton
T: Peter Fahey
Age: 7
Weight: 11-3
OR: 148
Days: 49

7 year old Royal Kahala is having her first season in open company for Peter Fahey.

A winner of 2 bumpers she then easily took her maiden apart over 2.5 miles.

Taking on mares only races last spring saw her beat the well fancied Hook Up before a good 2nd in a Grade 3 to Roseys Hollow.

Unable to show tactical speed in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle in last years’ festival she finished a poor 9th despite going off favourite.

This season she’s been more impressive and has slowly gone up in trip. Beaten over an inadequate 2 miles and 2 furlongs on seasonal debut she then managed to beat Heaven Help Us over 2.5 miles to win a Grade 3 before a great staying performance to win the Galmoy Hurdle.

Klassical Dream blew out but Royal Kahala stayed on well to beat Home By The Lee to take Grade 2 honours.

She needs to step up again but is unexposed over 3 miles.

Cheltenham - March 17 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
J J Slevin

Home By The Lee

J: J J Slevin
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 150
Days: 49

Trained by Joseph O’Brien, Home By The Lee didn’t spend too long over hurdles and only managed to win a maiden race in his first season over timber.

Taken to fences off the back of that, he ran well to win a few times over the bigger obstacles including a grade 3 success at Cork.

His form quickly flattened out over fences though and he hasn’t won since taking a novice handicap back in February of last year.

Dropped to hurdles off the back of a really poor run over fences in September, he ran well over 2.5 miles to be 2nd to Darver Star before being an 80/1 2nd to Royal Kahala in the Galmoy Hurdle.

He stayed on well in the Galmoy and put in a career best to be 2nd. He doesn’t look likely to reverse that form with Royal Kahala however.