Paisley Park pounces late to grab stayers’ hurdle spoils

Emma Lavelle’s young star steals victory from Shades Of Midnight

  • Saturday 24 November
  • News
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Paisley Park grabbed the Grade Three honours in a dramatic finish to the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock.

Trained by Emma Lavelle, Paisley Park was sent off a 4-1 shot in the hands of Aidan Coleman, who was content to bide his time as Captain Cattistock and Shades Of Midnight set a decent gallop through the early stages.

That pair were still in control turning for home in the extended three-mile heat, but First Assignment emerged as the likely winner as he jumped to the lead at the last.

As Captain Cattistock crashed out at the final obstacle, Shades Of Midnight kept finding for pressure, eventually inching back in front in the shadow of the post.

However, Coleman had been stoking up Paisley Park on the run to the line and he eventually swooped in the final strides, claiming a narrow half-length verdict over the gallant runner-up.

Lavelle said: “That was very exciting, although I would have preferred him to win without that last-gasp bit at the end!

“He’s a progressive horse and that was some performance out there today with 11st 12lb on his back.

“That probably rules out handicaps and the owner’s plan has been to go for the Long Walk at Ascot, so that’s probably where he’ll go next.

“We’ve knocked on the door in a few of these £100,000 races and it’s great to finally win one.

“I wasn’t sure if he’d won or not and I’m sorry for the person who is now deaf that I was stood next to!”

Paisley Park pounces late to grab stayers’ hurdle spoils
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