Paisley Park Flying At Home Ahead Of Hat-Trick Cleeve Hurdle Bid

Paisley Park

Leading Stayers' Hurdle contender Paisley Park is said to be firing on all cylinders at home by trainer Emma Lavelle and is ready to head to Cheltenham at the end of January, going in search of a third straight win in the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle.

Paisley Park showed he is back to his best this season after a superb second behind the young pretender Thyme Hill in the Grade Two Long Distance Cup at Newbury on his seasonal debut.

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 having been the horse to beat in they Stayers' Hurdle division, 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 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.

Although the gelding was taking on much younger horses on his return in November and giving weight away he still ran to a high standard.

He cemented the idea that his run in the 2020 Stayers' Hurdle was a blip when coming from the clouds to land his second Grade One Long Walk Hurdle last time out, reversing the form with Thyme Hill in the final stages.

It was one of the races of the season so far and one of the performances of the term by Paisley Park and Lavelle has expressed how well he has come out of the event and is now ready for his trip to Prestbury Park.

She said: “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.”