Paisley Park is set to take in the Cleeve Hurdle on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham on January 26 ahead of his date with destiny in the Stayers’ Hurdle in March.
The Emma Lavelle-trained gelding has been the emerging star in the staying division this season and confirmed he is a force to be reckoned with when winning the Grade One JLT Hurdle, better known as the Long Walk, at Ascot.
“It was great for everyone at the yard and the team having been buzzing. The horse seems to have come out of the race fine and he is back cantering,” said Lavelle’s husband and assistant, Barry Fenton.
“We are hoping to aim him at the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham and that will be his next target, and then obviously hopefully on to the Stayers’, but we will take it one race at a time.
However, it has not always been plain sailing, as Fenton revealed.
“He was always a lovely horse, but we nearly lost him as a youngster as he had a bad bout of colic and it has taken us a long time to get him back,” he said.
“He petered out last season, as he was not strong enough to take a full season of training, but this season he has had three starts and has won three times. He is a much stronger horse.
“He was a horse at the sales I fell in love with and we were not leaving the sales without him, so I’ve had an interest in him from the start.”