Who Will Win the Liverpool Hurdle?


Who Will Win the Liverpool Hurdle?

Saturday 15th April is the biggest day in the British racing year, as the latest edition of the three-day Grand National Festival reaches a thrilling conclusion. The big race may take centre stage, but that jumping and staying showpiece is just one of seven contests on a Saturday card lit up by a trio of Grade 1 events.

With a total of £250,000 up for grabs, the Liverpool Hurdle is the most valuable of the three top-class events, and sees a field of talented performers do battle over a stamina-sapping trip of 3m½f. Gordon Elliott’s Stayers Hurdle champ, Sire Du Berlais, caused a 16/1 surprise in the race in 2022, and is back for another crack this time around. Will he prevail? Or will we have a new name on the trophy?

Here we take a look at one of the main appetisers ahead of the Grand National main course, using data presented by Newbettingsites.uk, to pick out the runners most likely to land the prize.

Age Trends

Sire Du Berlais landed this as a ten-year-old 12 months ago, but that success went against the overall trend for the race. Of the 47 editions to date, 41 (87.23%) have been won by a runner aged nine or younger, with 6-7 years of age seeming to be the sweet spot. Those who fall down on this trend this year include the – now eleven-year-old – Sire Du Berlais, Stayers Hurdle runner-up, Dashel Drasher, Champ, and Brewin’upastorm. Monmiral, Teahupoo, and Meet And Greet are the three who fall into the 6-7 age band.

Trainer Trends

Paul Nicholls leads the way amongst the trainers represented this year, with a total of four wins in the race. It should be noted that those four successes came courtesy of the same horse, with the mighty Big Bucks winning four successive editions between 2009 and 2012. Nicholls sends Monmiral into battle this time around, and should he come home in front, Nicholls will join Martin Pipe as the joint most successful trainer in the history of the race.

Nicholls' major rival Nicky Henderson won back-to-back editions with Whisper in 2014 and 2015 and is responsible for both the current favourite for the race, Marie’s Rock, and Champ, who finished third here 12 months ago.

Also sitting on two wins is Philip Hobbs, who now trains in partnership with Johnson White. Representing the duo in 2023 is Thyme Hill, who managed only fifth last year, but came home in front in 2021. Last year's winning trainer, Gordon Elliott, looks to boast a strong hand, with Stayers Hurdle third, Teahupoo, joining Sire Du Berlais in the field.

Other Factors

    • Cheltenham Festival a Good Guide - Eight of the past ten winners had run at the Cheltenham Festival on their previous start, with the Stayers Hurdle (four times), Champion Hurdle (twice), Coral Cup (once), and Pertemps Final (once) all producing the winner.
    • Class to the fore - Eight of the past ten winners were officially rated 156 or above on the day.

Summary: Tea to Make It Two For Elliott

We have a tricky-looking edition this year. But for his advancing years, Sire Du Berlais would appear a decent fit, having won the Stayers Hurdle last time out and arriving at the race with a rating of 160. Current favourite Marie’s Rock, meanwhile, is a likeable mare, but has it to do off a rating of 153 – although she does at least have the 7lb mares’ allowance in her favour.

The best overall fit is the second of the Gordon Elliott runners, Teahupoo. This six-year-old will be making only his third start at this trip but has run an excellent race in each of his previous attempts – routing the field in a Grade 2 at Gowran Park and going down by under a length in the Stayers Hurdle last time out. A lover of soft ground, his chance will increase with every drop of rain that falls – making the forecast heavy showers on Friday evening a welcome sight for supporters. At 7/2 with BetUK, he rates our main bet in the race.

Next best, and worth an each-way punt, is another of the Irish Raiders, Home By The Lee. Joseph O’Brien’s eight-year-old arrived at the Cheltenham Festival on a roll and ran a fine race in fifth, having made a jarring mid-race error. With this easier track set to suit him well, he looks a solid bet to hit the frame at 7/1 with BetUK.


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Who Will Win the Grand National?

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