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Cheltenham Festival: Stayers' Hurdle preview - Crambo can upset the favourites
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Adrian Wall
Racing Post
Teahupoo is the current market leader to win this year's Stayers' Hurdle
Teahupoo is the current market leader to win this year's Stayers' Hurdle

- This year's Cheltenham Festival takes place from March 12-15
- The feature race on the third day is the Stayers' Hurdle (3.30pm)
- Recommended bets: 
Crambo to win 
Sire Du Berlais each-way

The biggest week of the season is nearly upon us as Prestbury Park stages the four-day Cheltenham Festival from March 12-15. 

The famous Cheltenham hill will be graced by the best jumps horses in Great Britain and Ireland, and we will be treated to the most famous races across exciting afternoons from Tuesday until Friday.

Amongst the highlights are the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase, and the Gold Cup, but our focus right now is on a very competitive renewal of the Stayers' Hurdle.

Robcour have a big decision to make

The Acheson family have a very big decision on their hands as they own the current favourite and the second favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle, with Teahupoo and Irish Point priced at 11/4 and 10/3 respectively with LiveScore Bet.

Irish Point has really improved since going up in distance, landing the Grade 1 Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree emphatically to round off last season, and winning the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown by a wide margin when upped to just shy of three miles.

Narrowly beaten by Marine Nationale in the Royal Bond last season, this lad doesn't lack pace, and connections have hinted he could run in the Champion Hurdle. Either way, there's a good chance he might be saved for Aintree as he missed Cheltenham last season too.

That leaves Teahupoo. It has to be said that for all he won the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse on his seasonal return in December, there has to be some major question marks with regard to the strength of the form.

He beat Impaire Et Passe by a length, a horse who was second favourite for the Champion Hurdle at the time but now does not even go to the festival due to his dreadful run of form.

Teahupoo has been saved for this but it will take a brave person to take his current price.

Improving duo the big dangers

Britain's main hope of ending Ireland's winning streak in the Stayers' Hurdle is Fergal O'Brien's Crambo.

Connections did without a prep run for the progressive seven-year-old, who gave the trainer his second Grade 1 success when narrowly denying former Stayers' winner Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle.

The 2022 Grand National winner, Noble Yeats, is having a spell over hurdles this season, and Emmet Mullins' star horse ran on strongly at the death when winning the Cleeve Hurdle in January, accounting for the consistent Paisley Park.

He is also well worth his place in the field.

Defending champ a solid chance to repeat

Sire Du Berlais (left) was a surprise winner last year but is a decent price to repeat the feat
Sire Du Berlais (left) was a surprise winner last year but is a decent price to repeat the feat

Last year's surprise 33/1 winner of the race, Sire Du Berlais, proved that win was no fluke when going on to win the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree, and he was beaten less than a length into third in the Champion Stayers' Hurdle at Punchestown.

He has been kept fresh for this and should not be underestimated, despite his age.

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