Paisley Park primed for Long Distance mission
Paisley Park warmed up for the Long Distance Hurdle with a pleasing workout at the Ladbrokes Winter Festival gallops morning at Newbury.
Partnered by Lavelle’s husband and assistant, former jockey Barry Fenton, Paisley Park was accompanied in the exercise by stablemate Flemcara.
The 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle hero took the Long Distance Hurdle, sponsored by Ladbrokes, that November and was second to Thyme Hill 12 months ago.
A decision on whether the nine-year-old stays hurdling or goes novice chasing is likely to be made after that race.
Lavelle said: “I’m really happy with him. It’s lovely to get him here and on a bit of ground to get his blood up.
“He knows exactly what he has to do on the gallops at home and he’s a big, strong horse and takes that work, but coming onto a racecourse is different.
“The plan is to put cheekpieces on him (in the Long Distance Hurdle), but I want to leave the surprise element for the day he actually races. We need to be sure they will help him and that he doesn’t sit back in them.
“The race here is at a course where he knows his way round. I would love to see him stamp his authority in the stayers’ division one last time.
“There are lots of pretenders, but some horses just keep coming back and I hope he’s one that does the same.”
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