Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (Aintree) Betting Tips & Preview – Saturday 14th April 2018

The chasers may take centre stage on Grand National Saturday, but the hurdlers aren’t left out entirely. Topping the bill over the smaller obstacles is this event for the stayers which sees many of the contenders from the Cheltenham Stayers’ Hurdle lock horns once again.

This has been won by some of the true legends of the staying game over the years, most notably the unstoppable four-time winner, Big Buck’s. There doesn’t look to be anything quite of that class in this year’s field though, and we will be siding with a horse who many insist really should have won the Cheltenham equivalent a month ago.

Top Tip

Sam Spinner to win @ 13/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

Three miles and half a furlong is the trip for this Grade 1 Hurdle contest which offers a total of £180,000 in prize money. Set to be run on soft ground this year, this looks sure to be a true test at the distance.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Soft 3m½f Grade 1 £180,000 11 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

This has not been a race for the older performers in recent years, with each of the past nine winners being between the ages of six and nine.

Paul Nicholls has been the top trainer over this period with four wins. However, all of these were by the same horse. Nicholls relies on Old Guard this year.

2017 Yanworth 9/4 Alan King Barry Geraghty
2016 Thistlecrack 2/7 Colin Tizzard Tom Scudamore
2015 Whisper 5/1 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2014 Whisper 4/1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2013 Solwhit 9/4 Charles Byrnes Paul Carberry

Analysis: Spinner Worth A Second Chance

With Stayers’ Hurdle winner Penhill being given a break, and runner up Supasundae having already run elsewhere this week, this contest perhaps doesn’t boast quite as much strength in depth as usual.

We do nevertheless have a clutch of Cheltenham Festival runners in the field, and interesting contenders such as L’ami Serge who has already won this week, and Identity Thief who steps up in trip from the Champion Hurdle.

Can Colliver Get The Fraction’s Right?

No jockey in this year’s line-up will be under more scrutiny than Joe Colliver who once again rides Sam Spinner for Jedd O’Keefe. Being handed an uncontested lead in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last time should have proved ideal for this one, but unfortunately Colliver got it all wrong. Dawdling along in front he effectively allowed that contest to turn into a sprint. Sam Spinner doesn’t have the required gears to prevail should a similar scenario unfold here, but judged on his win in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot earlier in the season, he may well be the best horse in the field should this be a truly run affair.

George’s World To End Losing Streak

Having ended last season in excellent form, we were really looking forward to seeing what Tom George’s The Worlds End went on to achieve this season. So far, in four runs, that has amounted to not very much at all. Beaten by 33 lengths and 11 lengths by Sam Spinner at the start of the campaign, he would appear to have work to do to turn the tables.

It’s hard to forget the promise he showed in winning four times last season though, and how well he was travelling in the 2017 Albert Bartlett before coming down. A previous course and distance winner, he took a step back in the right direction when seventh at Cheltenham last time, but could ideally do with the ground drying out.

First Grade 1 For Stone?

Judged purely on his most recent run, there’s an argument to be made that Wholestone should be favourite here. He did after all have Sam Spinner well beaten off when third at Cheltenham last time, when he did really well to finish in the money in a race that was not run to suit. Thoroughly proven at Grade 2 level, he is however yet to prove that he is up to winning one of these top-level events. Having been placed in his two cracks to date though, he shouldn’t be too far away once again.

Final Verdict

This doesn’t look anything like the highest class Grade 1 of the week, with the likes of Old Guard and Coole Cody interesting at big prices for those looking for an each way punt.

Overall though we feel it is worth giving another chance to Sam Spinner. We were quite keen on this one going into the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and it may be too soon to write him off considering the farcical pace of that race. With the world watching, Joe Colliver surely won’t make the same mistake twice and he can see these off from the front.

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