Paisley Park heads 15 chasing Stayers' Hurdle gold

Summerville Boy clashes with reigning champ again at Cheltenham.

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Paisley Park will face 14 opponents in pursuit of his second successive Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Emma Lavelle’s champion is bidding to become the first multiple winner of the race since the mighty Big Buck’s secured his fourth title in 2012.

Odds-on favourite to do so, his chief rivals among the final 15 for Thursday’s renewal are led by Tom George’s Summerville Boy.

Benie Des Dieux, due to run in Tuesday’s Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle instead, is a predictable absentee – with The Worlds End and The Mighty Don the only two others missing when the declarations were published.

Among those who will face Paisley Park, and his old adversary Summerville Boy, are Rebecca Curtis’ Lisnagar Oscar and Debra Hamer’s Tobefair – third and fourth respectively behind the two chief contenders in Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hurdle at the end of January.

Warren Greatrex’s Rendlesham Hurdle winner Emitom is another who will take his chance – alongside Willie Mullins’ 2018 stayers’ champion, Penhill.

The Irish challenge also contains last year’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle hero City Island, for Martin Brassil, Gordon Elliott’s multiple Grade One-winning mare Apple’s Jade and well-touted outsider Ronald Pump.

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