|Thyme Hill||20/1||Ante Post
|Sire Du Berlais||25/1||Ante Post
Date of Tips: 16/03/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (11:13 16/03/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Paisley Park was one of a number of high-profile below par performances over the week, and it has since transpired that he suffered from an irregular heartbeat post-race. Let’s hope he recovers fully, but what it did do was blow the division wide open – not only for the Stayers’ Hurdle won by Lisnagar Oscar last week, but also for the 2021 edition.
Anyone with any ounce of interest in the game will have noted that the Albert Bartlett won by Monkfish featured perhaps four of the most promising horses going forward. Monkfish, Latest Exhibition and Fury Road are just three of what could be a fascinating crop of novice chasers next season – when you add Envoi Allen, Shiskin, The Big Getaway and The Big Breakaway to that list, and we might just be treated to the best novice chase division that we have seen for many a year.
But I digress, it is the horse in fourth in the Albert Bartlett, Thyme Hill, whose run was one of the most eye-catching of the whole week. Squeezed up going to the last, and then again after last, he couldn’t quite force his way into the frame. Added in to the fact that he travelled widest of all for virtually the whole race, affording mountains of ground to the three horses that finished in front of him, and his run was an absolute belter.
His trainer Philip Hobbs has expressed that Thyme Hill is not the most robust of horses, so I would be surprised if he went chasing. There is a lovely run of staying hurdle trials through the winter, and I expect Thyme Hill to take high order in that division. 20/1 could be long gone by mid-winter.
The other bet in the Stayers’ Hurdle 2021, is the dual Pertemps Final winner Sire Du Berlais at 25/1. Gordon Elliott is a master at bringing horses back to the Cheltenham festival to win or run well on multiple occasions – Tiger Roll, anyone.
Sire Du Berlais won the Pertemps in a time 2.98 seconds quicker than Lisnagar Oscar won the Stayer’s Hurdle this year, on the same day. Enough said. Given the Irish handicappers domination of this year’s handicap hurdlses in particular, it is highly likely that Sire Du Berlai’s eyes will no longer be on handicaps from this point onwards.