The Stayers' Hurdle is the season’s premier event for staying hurdlers.
It is the second of the two feature races that take place on Day 3 of the Festival.
Known as the Lloyds Bank Hurdle from 1972-77, it was subsequently called the Waterford Crystal Stayers' Hurdle (1978-90) and the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle (1991-2004).
From 2005 to 2016 the race was renamed the World Hurdle, but reverted to its Stayers’ Hurdle name in 2017.
Paddy Power took over sponsorship in 2020, introducing a unique musical trophy:
STAYERS’ HURDLE TRENDS
A number of horses have won the Stayers' Hurdle more than once, most notably four-time winner Big Buck’s, triple winner Inglis Drever and dual winner Baracouda.
Crimson Embers' two victories in this race came four years apart (1982 & 1986).
But since Big Bucks' domination from 2009 until 2012, the race has been farmed by second-season hurdlers.
Just 3 nine-year-old's have won in the last 33 renewals, including the aforementioned Inglis Drever and Big Buck's.
The other 30 winners in that period were all aged six, seven or eight - but those aged either six or seven have dominated lately.
Flooring Porter was the only six-year-old in the race when he won in 2021, and obviously a seven-year-old when retaining his title.
The Stayers' Hurdle winners in 2018, 2019 and 2020 had all competed in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle 12 months earlier.
LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA
Flooring Porter joined the elite band of multiple winners of the Stayers' Hurdle in 2022.
The four-man Galway-based syndicate behind the gelding reportedly paid just €5,000 for him as a three-year-old after seeing a Facebook advert. Jockey Danny Mullins said:
Substitute jockey Danny Mullins had claimed his first winner at the Festival with a bold front running ride on Flooring Porter in 2021.
It capped a rapid rise to prominence for the six-year-old, who had been a handicapper rated at just 122 at the start of the season:
Lisnagar Oscar ran out a shock 50/1 winner in 2020, with the defending champion and 4/6 favourite, Paisley Park, disappointing.
Back hurdling after an aborted novice chase campaign, the Rebecca Curtis trained seven-year-old provided jockey Adam Wedge with his first Festival win:
Paisley Park was a well-backed winner for trainer Emma Lavelle in 2019, with former Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen third.
Looking outpaced with a mile to go, he came charging around the outside to win, despite making a mess of the final hurdle:
Penhill secured back-to-back Cheltenham Festival wins in 2018, having previously won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
He had been off of the track for 323 days, but showed no signs of race-rustiness, as acknowledged by jockey Paul Townend:
Mullins had trained his first Stayers' Hurdle winner a year earlier with Nichols Canyon, who came up on the stands rail to collar Lil Rockerfeller.
It was owner Graham Wylie's fourth win of the race, after those with Inglis Drever:
Thistlecrack stormed up the hill to beat Alpha Des Obeaux by 7 lengths in 2016, with 2013 Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth a distant third.
The even-money favourite, ridden by Tom Scudamore, stalked the leaders before easing into the lead approaching the last:
Cole Harden was relentless in 2015, making every yard of the running.
It was a first Festival winner for both jockey Gavin Sheehan and trainer Warren Greatrex - who was memorably reduced to tears:
The 2014 renewal was billed as a two-horse-race between unbeaten mare Annie Power and four-times champion Big Buck's, but More Of That had not read the script.
It was the second time that trainer Jonjo O'Neill and jockey Barry Geraghty had teamed up to win the Stayers' Hurdle, having won it with Iris's Gift a decade earlier.
Big Buck's, who was returning from an injury that had kept him on the sidelines the previous year, finished fifth in what was immediately announced to be his final race.
Big Buck's had made history in 2012, when winning that remarkable fourth successive stayers' championship with Ruby Walsh.
It was also his 16th win in a row, equalling the all-time record over hurdles - which he would break the following month at Aintree:
Looking back further, Inglis Drever had to call on all his reserves of stamina to secure a Stayers' Hurdle hat-trick in 2008.
His emotional owner Graham Wylie said:
While five years earlier the brilliant French challenger Baracouda won an epic renewal, beating the big hopes of Britain and Ireland in Iris's Gift and Limestone Lad: