Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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PAISLEY Park targets a remarkable fourth win in the Cleeve Hurdle en route to another crack at the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Paisley Park won the Cleeve Hurdle for the first time in 2019 – before going on to win the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2019 Festival – and remains unbeaten in the Cleeve, winning in 2020 and 2022.
He has since run three times in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival, finishing seventh in 2019 when losing his left-fore and right-hind shoes and was third to Flooring Porter in 2021 and 2022.
Emma Lavelle’s stable star showed his well-being when winning the rearranged Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and features amongst 28 entries for the feature race on the Thursday of the Festival where is 14-1 with the sponsors.
“Touch wood he’s in great order, good, fresh and well and he’ll go to the Cleeve Hurdle first and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle is his big aim as ever. He’ll do one more piece of work on the grass next week [ahead of the Cleeve] but he’s in good form,” Lavelle said.
“It just goes to show that you should never pigeonhole Paisley and I couldn’t have been happier with him on a track that probably doesn’t play to his strengths. I was very proud that he’s still winning at that level as a 10-year-old.”
When asked if she thought her stable star could get closer or even master Flooring Porter, who is 5-1 favourite with Paddy Power, as he had got closer last year than in 2021, Lavelle replied: “I certainly hope so – I do think so far this year that he has been performing better than last year and if he can keep that up, I’d like to think we’ll be finishing closer or hopefully in front of him.”
Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle
Paddy Power: 5 Flooring Porter, 6 Home By The Lee, 8 Klassical Dream, 10 Blazing Khal, Ashdale Bob, 12 Marie’s Rock, Teahupoo, 14 Paisley Park, Sharjah, 16 Asterion Forlonge, Buzz, Sir Gerhard, 20 Chacun Pour Soi, Gelino Bello, Monkfish, 25 Dashel Drasher, Haut En Couleurs, 33 Goshen, Saint Sam, 40 Hewick, 50 Beacon Edge, Botox Has, Indefatigable, Zanahiyr, 66 Sams Profile, Sire Du Berlais, Summerville Boy, 100 Langer Dan
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