Paisley Park 'has got his spark back' as he bids for fourth Cleeve win
Trainer Emma Lavelle says stable star Paisley Park ‘has got his spark back’ as 11-year-old bids for record fourth win in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham
- Paisley Park has won 11 of his 25 races, including the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2019
- The 11-year-old put in one of his best seasonal comebacks at Newbury
Trainer Emma Lavelle believes Paisley Park will make a case for the Cleeve Hurdle to be renamed after him if he can become the first horse to win it four times at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The 11-year-old has looked revitalised this season, putting in one of his best seasonal comebacks when beaten a neck by Champ in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and easily winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Kempton.
Lavelle said: ‘It sounds crazy to say but I don’t really know why he has got his spark back. He is probably carrying a little less condition and is a bit lighter.
Paisley Park bids for record fourth win in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday
‘That maybe came from it being such a hot summer, so he didn’t quite put on as much. We haven’t had to be quite so hard on him to get him to the track. The hope now is that he can carry that on.’
Paisley Park has won 11 of his 25 races, including the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2019 Festival, a race in which he has finished third for the last two seasons.
His popularity is also down to his racing style, invariably finishing with purpose even when a race might seem a lost cause.
Lavelle added: ‘What probably stands him apart is his longevity. He is up for the fight pretty much every time. He loves it and couldn’t run his races the way he does unless he did. It would be very nice if the Cleeve could be his race but we have a way to go yet.’
Paisley Park is evens favourite to land Saturday’s race.
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