Five take on Paisley Park

Lavelle’s star stayer out to defend Ascot crown.

  • Thursday 19 December
  • News
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Paisley Park will face five rivals when he defends his crown in the Marsh Hurdle at Ascot.

Emma Lavelle’s charge claimed the Grade One contest during an unbeaten campaign of five races last season, which culminated with victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The seven-year-old proved his powers remain fully intact with a comeback victory in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month – and he will be extremely prohibitively odds to stretch his winning run to seven on Saturday.

All six horses confirmed on Monday have stood their ground at the declaration stage.

The Tom George-trained The Worlds End renews rivalry with Paisley Park, having finished seven lengths behind in third at Newbury three weeks ago.

Nicky Henderson’s three-time Grade One winner L’Ami Serge filled the runner-up spot behind Sam Spinner in the 2017 Long Walk – as this weekend’s race was formerly known, and remains registered – and he returns for another tilt off the back of a 580-day absence.

Debra Hamer saddles her stable star Tobefair, while Oliver Sherwood’s mare Papagana steps up in class after a facile success in Listed company against her own sex at Kempton on her seasonal debut.

The sextet is completed by the Nick Williams-trained outsider Agrapart, with Davy Russell an intriguing jockey booking.

Five take on Paisley Park

Ascot 14:25, 21 December 2019

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