Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle Betting Tips
Haydock Park hosts some excellent, varied races on Saturday afternoon. The pick of the action is the Group 1 Betfair Chase but the Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle is an exciting race in its own right.
Part of the charm of the Stayers’ Handicap is that it’s been through so many changes. It does make it tough for trainers to prepare their horses properly for the race however. Is it still a race for younger horses full of promise to use as a stepping stone to chasing or for seasoned veterans to secure a healthy prize?
The main change to the race this year is the introduction of new hurdles. They look like the fences you’ll find in steeplechases only smaller and may be a visual that takes fans and horses alike a little time to get used to.
Trends May Have to Be Taken with a Pinch of Salt
As with any race that undergoes significant changes the stats assembled from previous editions should be treated with a certain amount of caution. With that warning given, let’s look at what we do know about the Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle.
Stayers Hurdle – Silsol, Zarkandar, The Worlds End, Gayebury, Minella Awards, Champers On Ice, Robbin'Hannon, No Hassle Hoff, Le Rocher, Three Musketeers, Sam Spinner, Theo's Charm, The Dutchman, Templeross, Fingerontheswitch, Ibsen.— AntepostPunter (@AntepostPunter) November 23, 2017
The race is a Grade 3 handicap and will be run over a little more than 2m6f. Traditionally this is a tough race to preview and half of the last 12 winners came from outside of the top three in the betting.
Immediately that makes us think that each-way betting is the way to go but rarely has the winner been a complete shock. All but one of the last 12 to win had previous winning form over hurdles while the same number were aged between five and seven.
The final thing to note is that the ground is set to be soft, heavy in places. That very much brings a need for stamina into the equation when picking our bets.
Which of the Favourites to Side With?
The top three may not have a great record in the Betfair Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle but you cannot doubt that you can make a strong case for the horses occupying those positions in the early betting for the 2017 edition.
The Worlds End (6/1 with Ladbrokes) won over course and distance last season in the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle.
Minella Awards (7/1 with Paddy Power) looks destined to compete over fences but the six-year-old already has two wins and two second placed finishes from just five starts under rules.
And, No Hassel Hoff (7/1 with BetVictor) won on his seasonal reappearance and despite a penalty for that win he may still be well treated by the handicapper.
These big field handicaps are notoriously hard to win even for the highest quality horses in the race but we just think Minella Awards is worth siding with at 7/1. He’s won on heavy ground before, should have little trouble with the fences and can get his season off to the best possible start.
Supplement Your Betting with These Each-Way Options
Sam Spinner is a very tempting option just a little bit below the top three fancies. The five-year-old won’t get the support he deserves in the betting coming from a less heralded yard compared to his main opponents, but he’s got every chance at 8/1 with Bet365.
After some strong performances in novice hurdles last season, Sam Spinner returned in October with a game second-place finish at Chepstow. He’ll improve further on that run and is a solid each-way play.
While many of the competitors on Saturday are still on the way up, Zarkandar has already achieved big things in his long career. The 10-year-old has won Grade 1 hurdles for trainer, Paul Nicholls, so there are no doubts about his class.
He’s also performed well when there’s a cut on the ground so could utilise his experience to full effect at 20/1 with Ladbrokes.
Top Betting Offers
Minella Awards to win at 7/1 with Paddy Power
Sam Spinner each-way at 8/1 with Bet365
Zarkandar each-way at 20/1 with Ladbrokes