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The Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle Grade 1 is the third Champion race of the week and is without a doubt the toughest one to call so far.

There are three previous winners of this race who will try and get their crown back, they are Sire Du Berlais, Flooring Porter and Paisley Park. However, some of the younger, more fresher horses will fancy their chances of taking the gold home.

Cheltenham 3:30 – Sire Du Berlais 12/1 (0.5pt EW)

If I wasn't to back Sire Du Berlais and he was to win, I would be crying myself to sleep for the rest of the year, so I am sticking with my old friend who dug me out of the dumps last year when landing this race at odds of 33/1. The more I look at this race, the more I think he is being overlooked yet again. He is a 12yo, and based on that he has it all to prove, but he won this race as an 11yo last year and then went to Aintree and beat that Grade 1 field with even more authority. This time of year is what this horse is all about, he won the Pertemps two years in a row and was 2nd in this race in 2021 before eventually landing the good in 2023. He is the ultimate spring horse, and his record around Cheltenham reads 4,1,1,2,0,1 so the fact he is double-figure odds against this ordinary-looking field makes it a no-brainer.

7yo's have a good record in this race since 2017 with all but two winning at that age, so the likes of Crambo and Teahupoo have to be respected.

Crambo is the improver in this field. His form isn't out of this world, but horses who are unexposed at this level and have shown an improving profile like Fergal O'Brien's horse can never be ruled out. I think he is terrible value at the prices, he beat Paisley Park, but is that form really strong enough to land a win at the Festival? I'm not sure. Paisley is a great horse in his own right, but he hasn't won a race in a long time and he is declining with age.

Teahupoo is probably the correct favourite. He was strongly fancied for this race 12 months ago, but looked to be outstayed that day. Gordon Elliott is confident that this horse has to turn up fresh to have his best chances and that's why he hasn't been seen in 102 days when he beat Impaire Et Passe with authority. Connections would be very confident as they chucked Irish Point into the Champion Hurdle when he was in with a great chance of winning this race.

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