Festival throwback: Relive Irish success in the Stayers' Hurdle


Jim Dreaper was the first Irish trainer to land the prize when Brown Lad won in 1975

Friday, February 14, 2020
Ruby Walsh enjoys the applause after Nichols Canyon wins the Stayers' Hurdle in 2017

Ruby Walsh enjoys the applause after Nichols Canyon wins the Stayers' Hurdle in 2017


The leading long-distance hurdle in the national hunt calendar is a third day showpiece at the Festival.

Ruby Walsh's four wins on Big Buck's means this is yet another race in which he is top of the jockey standings.

Jim Dreaper was the first Irish trainer to land the prize when Brown Lad won in 1975, while Edward O'Grady was a two-time winner in the late seventies.

Nichols Canyon, 2017

 
Willie Mullins claimed this race for the first time when Ruby Walsh drove Nichols Canyon to a narrow victory.

The previous year he'd finished third in the Champion Hurdle and he certainly appreciated the step up in distance 12 months later.

Unowhatimeanharry started odd-on favourite after winning eight consecutive races but Walsh moved into contention over the final flight and seized the advantage just strides before the winning post.

"He's a little warrior," said Walsh.

READ: Festival throwback: Relive Irish success in the Ryanair Chase

Shuil Ar Aghaidh, 1993

 
Paddy Kiely enjoyed his greatest moment as a trainer when Charlie Swan gave Shuil Ar Aghaidh a textbook ride to win this race in 1993.

The veteran trainer had just half a dozen horses at his Waterford base at the time of the race but took down training's biggest names with a horse owned by his wife.

Charlie Swan rode a patient race, overtaking pacemaker Pragada on the run-in to claim the prize at long odds.

READ: Festival throwback: Relive Irish success in the Champion Chase

Trapper John, 1990

 
Trapper John gave Mouse Morris the perfect start to a new decade with his Stayers Hurdle win.

Charlie Swan took the final fence several lengths adrift of the leader but powered up the hill to flash across the line in style.

“It was a real stayers race and Trapper John was a real stayer," said Morris. "It’s a better-class race now. Now you need to stay, but also have speed.”

READ: Relive Irish success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Check out our Road to Cheltenham microsite with the best of the Irish challenge at the Festival

The leading long-distance hurdle in the national hunt calendar is a third day showpiece at the Festival.

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