Paisley Park may yet run again this season after trainer Emma Lavelle received encouraging results from initial tests on her stable star’s heart.
The eight-year-old was a red-hot favourite to extend his winning sequence to eight by successfully defending his crown in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – but he trailed home a well-beaten eighth, after which he was found to have an irregular heartbeat.
While the problem appeared to have rectified itself by Friday morning, Paisley Park was sent to Rossdales Equine Hospital in Newmarket on Sunday for further examination by equine cardiologist Celia Marr.
Speaking on Monday morning, Lavelle said: “I actually haven’t heard anything so far today, but I got a call from Newmarket late yesterday afternoon to tell me he’d had the scans on his heart and everything looked good.
“They tell me he has an enormous heart, although I’m not sure we actually needed a scan to know that!
“He had an ECG on overnight. Subject to everything being OK with that, he will then be allowed to come home.”
Lavelle’s plan all season was for Paisley Park to end his campaign at the Punchestown Festival – and he could yet do so, subject to the meeting going ahead in light of the coronavirus outbreak. All racing in Ireland is currently taking place behind closed doors.
“Let’s see what happens over the next week or two. Obviously there is a lot more going on than just what has happened with Paisley Park,” Lavelle added.
“Once we’ve got him home, we can start working him again, and he can wear a monitor with a chip – which will then send the data back to Newmarket and we can be sure everything is as it should be.
“If he seems well, he’s working well and racing is still going ahead, then we will definitely still consider Punchestown – but there’s a much bigger picture at the moment.”