Emma Lavelle excited to start Paisley Park in Long Distance Hurdle
Emma Lavelle is feeling a Combination of excitement and nerves ahead of Paisley Park’s return to action from the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle.
The seven-year-old has been the dominant force in the division last season – loving an effort which started with a win at Aintree and ended with him asserting Cheltenham Festival glory at the Stayers’ Hurdle.
Unheralded heading to last term, Paisley Park creates his reappearance in Newbury on Friday among this sport’s stars – .
“We are eager to get him started. Obviously there is a fair amount of trepidation since you do not want to have him defeated, but that is the first step of this season and he’s prepared to operate – you can not keep drilling them in home forever,” she said.
Paisley Park will face four competitions at the three-mile Grade Two, for example three previous winners of this race in Thistlecrack (2015), Beer Goggles (2017) and dual victor Unowhatimeanharry (2016 and 2018).
Lavelle insists she could not be more happy with her star.
“I’m quite pleased with him. We have done as much as we can perform at home with him and he has been to Newbury twice. I am not saying he’s not likely to improve for the run – obviously March is the crucial date,” the Marlborough-based coach added.
“He is up against a few smart horses with the way in which the floor is, the horses which have experienced a run likely have an advantage.
“For us it is about getting some match practice and we are going to take it one step at a time.”
The field is performed with Tom George’s The Worlds End, who is clashing with all the Harry Fry-trained Unowhatimeanharry for the second time this period, having finished second and first respectively in the bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby four weeks ago.
The victory of the Worlds End prompted relations to keep him over hurdles, rather than send him back on fences.
George said of his bill:”He won very nicely at Wetherby. He had a whole lot of problems that we have put. He was good at what he did in Wetherby, so we thought we would adhere to this.
“He’s schooled OK over fences, but he didn’t really sparkle. We believed if we have that wrong it might put him back a bit, so that the safest path was to stick with him.
“As a novice he won a Grade One, but he had that bad fall at Cheltenham prior to that. He did not run badly in the Stayers’ Hurdle another season, where he is but he wasn’t.
“He is very bullish about it all and can be hassle free and that’s likely helping him. We’ve got a run under our belt and though we possibly confronting an impossible task up against Paisley Park, we will see where we all are.”