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Stayers Hurdle Trends: Is Flooring Porter Worth Taking On at Cheltenham?

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flooring porter

One of feature races on the third of the Cheltenham Festival (Thurs 17th March) is the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle as some of the best 3m hurdlers lock horns.   

Twelve months ago we saw a slightly surprising winner in Flooring Porter win the race at odds of 12/1 under a cracking front-running ride from jockey Danny Mullins.

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This 7 year-old has progressed nicely again during this season and has held his own at the head of the Stayers’ Hurdle betting market.

He’ll be looking to become the first ‘back-to-back’ winner of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle since the mighty Big Buck’s, who won this prize four times between 2009 and 20212.

Like most races at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, there are many key trends and stats to take into each contest.

So, does the Stayers’ Hurdle favourite – Flooring Porter – tick the main Stayers’ Hurdle trends?

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Did You Know? 13 of the last 17 Stayers’ Hurdle winners won last time out, while 19 of the last 22 winners finished 1st or 2nd in ALL their hurdles starts that season.


Key Stayers’ Hurdle Trends

  • 13 of the last 17 won last time out
  • 29 of the last 32 winners were aged between 6-8 years-old
  • 17 of the last 21 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 19 of the last 22 winners finished 1st or 2nd in ALL their hurdles runs that season
  • 3 of the last 4 winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the previous season
  • 13 of the last 19 winners had raced that calendar year

Stayers’ Hurdle Trends – Main Runners (based on the six main trends above)

FLOORING PORTER ❌✅✅❌❌❌        Flooring Porter @ 3/1 BetUK

KLASSICAL DREAM ❌✅✅❌❌✅          Klassical Dream @ 4/1 BetUK

THYME HILL ❌✅✅❌❌❌                     Thyme Hill @ 4/1 BetUK

CHAMP ❌❌✅✅❌✅                                 Champ @ 5/1 BetUK

PAISLEY PARK ✅❌❌❌❌✅                    Paisley Park @ 7/1 BetUK

ROYAL KAHALA ✅✅❌✅❌✅                 Royal Kahala @ 8/1 BetUK

Note: Odds are subject to change

A Mixed Bag Of Trends For Flooring Porter

Last year’s winner – Flooring Porter – will be hoping to follow in the hoof prints of Big Bucks and successfully defend his title, but the trends will give those looking to take him on plenty to cling to.

Yes, this Gavin Cromwell-trained 7 year-old ticks several boxes, including age and being in the top 4 in the betting and barring a fall at Navan in November would have finished in the top two in all his races this term.

However, a massive 13 of the last 17 (76%) of recent winners won their most recent race and he now heads here having not won in his last three.

He was beaten by Klassical Dream, who could line-up here too, at Leopardstown back in December so does also need to bounce back from that defeat.

On a plus, he’s taken the same route as last year – having around 3 months off before coming to the Festival and being a front-runner will be trying to make it hard for the others to pass him again.  He’s certainly a leading contender, but the trends say he might just be worth taking on.

Back FLOORING PORTER @ 3/1 with BetUK

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Past Champ Paisley Park Looking To Emulate Inglis Drever

In 2019 we saw the Emma Lavelle runner – Paisley Park @ 7/1 with BetUK – win this race at 11/8 and reward favourite backers – many thought he’d mop up this prize for the next few years after that.

However, he lost his way and could only manage seventh in 2020 and third in 2021 – 5 lengths behind Flooring Porter.

But despite fluffing the start last time won the Cleeve Hurdle here at Cheltenham to bounce back to winning ways and put himself back in the picture for the Stayers’ Hurdle.

If able to wrestle back his title, he’ll become the first horse since Inglis Drever to regain the Stayers’ Hurdle crown – Drever won the three times between 2005 and 2008.

A Trends Look at The Other Main Stayers’ Hurdle Runners

Thyme Hill @ 4/1 with BetUK Doesn’t have a bad Festival record – running third in the 2019 Champion Bumper and fourth in the 2020 Albert Bartlett. Since then has been touted as a leading contender for this race but is finally having his first try in it.

Our main trends don’t bode well for his chance, with only age (8) and being in the top four in the betting pluses, but it’s also hard to ignore his course form at Cheltenham.

This Philip Hobbs runner has raced here four times and is yet to finish out of the first four 2-3-1-4. A recent second, behind Champ, in the Long Walk Hurdle, was a fair effort, while the absence from the track (last ran 18th Dec) isn’t a worry as he’s a horse that’s gone very well fresh in the past.

Champ @ 5/1 with BetUK Many Festival fans will remember his fast-finishing win in the 2020 RSA Chase to collar the future Gold Cup winner – Minella Indo.

He didn’t quite progress over fences as many thought after that but a return to hurdles has seen a spark of life return to this 10 year-old.

This Nicky Henderson runner landed the Long Walk Hurdle in December but did run flat last time in the Cleeve Hurdle when beaten at odds on (2nd behind Paisley Park).

The trends suggest he’s got a say still though, with being in the top 4 in the betting (could change), placed 1st or 2nd in his hurdles races this season and racing this calendar year all pluses.

Klassical Dream @ 4/1 with BetUK The Willie Mullins yard have only won this race twice in the past, but those two wins have been in the last five years.

This 8 year-old, who shot to fame when winning the 2019 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, has had his issues in recent years – having a big time away from the track and missing the whole of 2000.

But he’s returned this season better than ever with wins at Punchestown and Leopardstown but did get beaten at 1/3 last time at Gowran Park – with Royal Kahala winning that race.

Royal Kahala @ 8/1 with BetUK If lining up here looks to have a live chance. She’s a mare so will get a handy 7lb allowance too and at just 7 years-old should have more to come.

She became more of a household name after beaten Klassical Dream into fourth at Gowran Park at the end of January, but racegoers might remember she was also sent off favourite for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle here last season (9th).

She could only manage 9th in that Festival race last season so will need to show she can act on the track, but does certainly look a much stronger and wiser horse now. That run at the Festival last season was only her fourth over the sticks.

The trends suggest she’s got a big say too – she ticks four of our six main stats, including age, winning last time out, having raced this year and finishing in the first two in all her hurdles races (3) this season.

Stayers’ Hurdle Trends – The Pluses

  • 13 of the last 17 won last time out
  • 7 of the last 8 winners were second season hurdlers
  • 29 of the last 32 winners aged between 6-8 years-old
  • 17 of the last 21 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 8 of the last 20 were French Bred
  • Respect the Cleeve Hurdle and Long Walk Hurdle form
  • 8 of the last 15 ran in the Cleeve Hurdle
  • 19 of the last 22 winners finished 1st or 2nd in all their hurdling runs that season
  • 13 of the last 17 winners started 10/1 or less in the betting
  • Respect past winners of the race
  • 16 of the last 25 winners had won 7 or less times over hurdles
  • 3 of the last 4 winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the previous season

Stayers Hurdle Trends – The Negatives

  • Avoid horses that didn’t finish either 1st or 2nd last time out
  • A 5 year-old is yet to win the race
  • Horses that have lost previously in the race don’t fare well
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has only won the race twice
  • Avoid front runners
  • The Irish are have won the race just 4 times since 1995
  • Avoid horses that were beaten in the race before
  • Previous Albert Bartlett winners have an overall poor record (1 from 16), but horses that ran in the race have won the last 3
  • Horses wearing headgear are 0 from 71
  • Horses aged 10 or older have all been beaten since 1986 (0 from 59)

Recent Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle Winners

2021 – FLOORING PORTER (12/1)
2020 – LISNAGAR OSCAR (50/1)
2019 – PAISLEY PARK (11/8 fav)
2018 – PENHILL (12/1)
2017 – NICHOLS CANYON (10/1)
2016 – THISTLECRACK (Evs)
2015 – COLE HARDEN (14/1)
2014 – MORE OF THAT (15/2)
2013 – SOLWHIT (17/2)
2012 – BIG BUCK’S (5/6 fav)
2011 – BIG BUCK’S (10/11 fav)
2010 – BIG BUCK’S (5/6 fav)
2009 – BIG BUCK’S (6/1)
2008 – INGLIS DREVER (11/8 fav)
2007 – INGLIS DREVER (5/1)
2006 – MY WAY de SOLZEN (8/1)
2005 – INGLIS DREVER (5/1)
2004 – IRIS’S GIFT (9/2)
2003 – BARACOUDA (9/4 fav)

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