One of the highlights of Cheltenham is the Stayers’ Hurdle, which often features some of the best up and coming horses that you will see at the Festival. And among the favourites in this race of up and comers is Sam Spinner, whose ascent up the list of odds in this race has many wondering if he is a deserving favourite. With the Cheltenham Festival approaching, are there other horses more deserving of the title of Stayers’ Hurdle favourite?
Sam Spinner’s Torrid Form
As usual, form heading into a race is one of the biggest determining factors when odds are made, and Sam Spinner is entering this race in brilliant form. He has won five of his seven career hurdles races, which puts him in a strong position heading into the Stayers’ Hurdle. More importantly, the horse won his last big test, which has inspired confidence in him heading into what could well be the biggest race of his career during Cheltenham Festival.
That big test came during the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, where he managed to fend off strong competition from horses like Unowhatimeanharry who finished in third in last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle. Showing the capability to defeat other horses who have performed well in this race is a solid justification for making Sam Spinner the favourite in this year’s edition of the Stayers’ Hurdle, but there will absolutely be competition for him among horses who were given lesser billing.
There is a nice list of other contenders that Sam Spinner will have to deal with when the six-year-old takes his place in the starting gates at Cheltenham. Chief among those contenders is Supasundae, who has already had success at the Festival and looks a threat to do the same thing this year. That previous success came in last year’s Coral Cup, and he has since been moved from handicap races to G1 races. If Supasundae can replicate his performance at last year’s Festival, it could be argued that he deserves to be favourite in the Stayers’ Hurdle.
Also on the list of contenders to Sam Spinner is Yanworth. Yanworth has had a good history in hurdles races, which is key in this race, of course. When he is at his best, he can outperform just about any horse in horse racing in a hurdles race, and his upside in this race is undeniable which puts him on the short list of favourites in the event that he has one of those great days in this contest.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of worthy contenders to win the Stayers’ Hurdle. As for the question of whether or not Sam Spinner deserves to be the favourite in the race, there is no reason why he should not be. Some of the horses in the field have a higher upside when at their best, but the six-year-old’s history in hurdles races makes him a worthy favourite as he looks to win his sixth of eight hurdles races.