Paisley Park raring to go as Stayers' Hurdle date approaches

ASCOT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Aidan Coleman riding Paisley Park (R, spotted cap) clear the last to win The Porsche Long Walk Hurdle from Richard Johnson and Thyme Hill (L, white cap) at Ascot Racecourse on December 19, 2020 in Ascot, England. Owners are allowed to attend if they have a runner at the meeting otherwise racing remains behind closed doors to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Image: Aidan Coleman riding Paisley Park (right)

Emma Lavelle is counting down the days to Paisley Park's bid to regain his crown in the Paddy Power Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The nine-year-old looked set to dominate the division for years to come when claiming Festival glory in 2019, but was found to be suffering from a heart problem when bidding for back-to-back victories 12 months ago.

However, Lavelle's stable has bounced back to something like his best this season - chasing home Thyme Hill in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, before reversing that form in a thrilling Long Walk at Ascot.

The pair are set to renew rivalry in what promises to be one of the clashes of the meeting in a fortnight's time - and for Lavelle, the race cannot come soon enough, such is the well being of her pride and joy.

Lavelle said: "Everything is absolutely great - I wish it was next week.

"We just want to try and keep everything right. I'm really, really happy with him."

Paisley Park is the marginal favourite for the Stayers' Hurdle at 100-30, with the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill a 7-2 chance.

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