Lavelle Thrilled With Paisley Park Newbury Gallop And All Systems Go For Long Distance Hurdle

Paisley Park

Trainer Emma Lavelle was thrilled with Paisley Park's outing at Newbury on Tuesday ahead of his return to the track in the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle on Saturday week.

The eight year old at the Cheltenham festival last season was looking to extend his unbeaten run to eight races and also land back to back renewals of the Stayers Hurdle but it was not to be for the fan favourite.

After the race it was found that the son of Oscar had come back with an irregular heartbeat that was certainly the cause of his underwhelming run in the Grade One he dominated in last season.

Now, the Andrew Gemmell owned horse is said to be back to his best having been given the all clear from the vets and the frequent winner has been wearing a heart monitor in pieces of his work at home and the problem has not resurfaced.

He will make his seasonal debut in the race he landed last term on his way to the festival in March, but this time around he will be taking on much younger horses compared to his race last term when edging out the veteran Thistlecrack on the line.

(Credit ATR) Lavelle said: “He has been absolutely brilliant. Barry (Fenton) rides him all the time and he knows him inside out.

“All the way through this season, he has been happier with him. He has just felt really sparky and well in himself. He is just much more up for it and he hasn’t had to ask him any questions.

“He came in with a beaming smile after that (gallop), because he was bulling for more as they crossed the line. Coming here was not about seeing how fast he could go up the home straight, it was about lengthening. He lengthened for five furlongs.

“Both horses came out of it full of confidence. They’ve had a nice blow, and it would have brought him forward and hopefully put him spot on for a week on Friday.”

The female handler has expressed that her stable star will have to be better than he was last term but overall is just excited to see him back on track with the Stayers' Hurdle in March again the big target for the season.

She added: “I’d say he will be a hurdler for the rest of his career. He is a great jumper of a hurdle now, but he took a long time to be a good jumper of a hurdle. I don’t know if he is manly enough to tackle fences. If we can win the races we have been winning, why take that risk?

“Every year you look at the new horses coming up that are going to have a crack at that division, and we were one of them. I’d never take any of these horses for granted, but I sometimes think once you have been there and done it, there has been a history of those kind of horses remaining at the top for a while in this division, and we are hoping that he is one of them.

“He probably will have to step forward again, but he is only eight. I think naturally he should still be getting better, if everything operates in the way that it should.”

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