Lavelle upbeat over in-form Paisley Park



Emma Lavelle has reported Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Paisley Park to be in rude health ahead of his next engagement at Cheltenham this month.

The nine-year-old’s path to the Festival will see him head to Prestbury Park on January 30 for the Cleeve Hurdle, a race he’s won the last two years.

Paisley Park obliterated the field on his first crack at the Cleeve, winning by 12 lengths in 2019, but didn’t have it all his own way 12 months later when just edging out Summerville Boy to retain his title.

Lavelle’s stable star would subsequently go on to falter in the Stayers’ Hurdle, after which a heart issue was uncovered, but has looked much better this season.

He won the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last time out, avenging his loss to Thyme Hill in the Long Distance Hurdle on his seasonal bow, and Lavelle is looking forward to seeing him back in action on Trials Day as he heads back to Cheltenham for the first time since his disappointing Stayers’ showing.

She told Racing TV: “He’s absolutely bouncing, and the Cleeve is very much his next race.

“He’s just turned nine – he should be in his prime and running in races.

“He was an odds-on favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle last year and then he had a heart issue, so I think when they’re well and in good form – I know it’s easy to say with a horse like him – he should go to the races.”

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