Since 1972, how many horses have won the Stayers’ Hurdle more than once?
The Stayers’ Hurdle was first run in its current guise – that is, as the three-mile hurdling championship – in 1972, although between 2005 and 2015 it was known, for sponsorship purposes, as the ‘World Hurdle’. The race is run over 2 miles, 7 furlongs and 213 yards on the New Course at Cheltenham, where it is the feature race on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival, a.k.a. St. Patrick’s Thursday.
In five decades, the Stayers’ Hurdle has been cancelled just once, in 2001, because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which put paid to the whole of the Cheltenham Festival. All told, a total of five horses have won the Stayers’ Hurdle more than once. The first of them was Crimson Embers, trained by Fulke Walwyn, who recorded his first win in 1982 and recaptured the title in 1986, having been beaten a neck by stable companion Rose Ravine in the 1985 renewal.
Galmoy, trained by John Mulhern, was another dual winner, in 1987 and 1988, as was Baracouda, trained by François Doumen, in 2002 and 2003. Next up came the one and only three-time winner, Inglis Drever, trained by the subsequently banned Howard Johnson, in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Inglis Drever did not run in the 2006 renewal, having been sidelined for much of the 2005/06 season with a tendon injury. Coincidentally, though, he was immediately followed by the all-conquering Big Buck’s, trained by Paul Nicholls, 2009, who did complete a four-timer, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.