Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival expected to be Paisley Park's main target

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Emma Lavelle's gelding has become a constant in the upper echelons of the staying hurdle division and has eight graded victories to his name. The winner of the 2019 Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, he has also landed two Long Walk Hurdles at Ascot, two Cleeve Hurdles at Cheltenham and a Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

The latter race is where he is likely to kick off his season in late November, after which he will tread a familiar path to Ascot and then Cheltenham as his campaign progresses.

After landing the Cleeve Hurdle last season the horse went on to contest the Stayers' Hurdle and came home third, the same spot he filled in 2020 but on this occasion getting even closer to dual winner Flooring Porter. That performance demonstrated that his ability is not waning and Lavelle reports him to be as happy as ever in his work. "He's doing great, we're going to go to Newbury for the Long Distance Hurdle," she said. "He's in great form actually, he's 10 now and at this stage he probably knows the gallops better than us, so we try and swap and change to keep him interested. "He's loving life at the minute, he's very fresh and well. "We'll start off at Newbury and see where we go, I assume he'll go to Newbury, Ascot, Cheltenham for the Cleeve and then Cheltenham for the Stayers' but he'll be the one telling us. "He owes us nothing and we'll let him tell us what he wants to do."

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