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    Analysis of Top Staying Hurdlers Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival
Analysis of Top Staying Hurdlers Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

Analysis of Top Staying Hurdlers Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival

Matt Brocklebank reviews Timeform's top 10 staying hurdlers this season, evaluating their prospects for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.

Theleme (Arnaud Chaille-Chaille) - Timeform rating: 173

Theleme, with five Grade 1 wins at Auteuil, is the favourite for the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle. Despite a recent setback in training, his condition is not critical, and a UK appearance next spring is anticipated. His dominance in France suggests a formidable European stature.

Teahupoo (Gordon Elliott) - Timeform rating: 163

Beginning his ascent at Auteuil, Teahupoo has thrived under Gordon Elliott, particularly in challenging ground conditions. His close result in last year's Stayers' Hurdle and a fourth-place finish at Punchestown highlight his capabilities. Keeping him fresh for upcoming races is a priority, with more potential yet to be revealed.

Sire Du Berlais (Gordon Elliott) - Timeform rating: 162

Sire Du Berlais, a two-time Pertemps Final winner and the previous year's Stayers' Hurdle champion, has been inactive since April 2021. Now at 12, his current form and ranking are under scrutiny, though his Cheltenham history is commendable.

Irish Point (Gordon Elliott) - Timeform rating: 160

Narrowly missing victory against Marine Nationale in the 2022 Royal Bond, Irish Point has shown growth with recent wins. His success at longer distances indicates promise; at six years old, further development is likely.

Flooring Porter (Gavin Cromwell) - Timeform rating: 159

A two-time Stayers' Hurdle winner, Flooring Porter has faced hurdles in novice chases but remains a contender. The National Hunt Chase is his primary target, though a Stayers' return remains on the table.

Blazing Khal (Charles Byrnes) - Timeform rating: 157

Following an impressive return in the Boyne Hurdle, Blazing Khal faltered in the Stayers' Hurdle and has been absent since. His current condition is unclear.

Asterion Forlonge (Willie Mullins) - Timeform rating: 156

Asterion Forlonge has struggled with inconsistency and errors in hurdling. Recent performances suggest a downward trend.

Crambo (Fergal O'Brien) - Timeform rating: 156

Notably, in Haydock and Ascot races, Crambo could emerge as a critical figure in Grade 1 competitions, with room for further improvement.

Home By The Lee (Joseph O'Brien) - Timeform rating: 156

Following a fifth-place finish in last year's Stayers' Hurdle, Home By The Lee has faced challenges this season, raising doubts about his performance at the highest level.

Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle) - Timeform rating: 156

At 12, Paisley Park remains a strong competitor, famous for his dramatic race finishes and a special connection with Cheltenham races.

As the Cheltenham Festival draws near, the form and potential of these hurdlers will significantly influence the race dynamics and outcomes.

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