Paisley Park on course for Long Distance Hurdle during Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury
Former champion staying hurdler Paisley Park is on course to make his third appearance in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle after working over the course during the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival Gallops Morning.
The winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle in 2019 exercised under trainer Emma Lavelle’s husband Barry Fenton ahead of another tilt at the race he won in 2019 and finished second last year to Thyme Hill. He finished third on his seasonal debut at Wetherby last month.
Trainer Emma Lavelle said: “He does as much as he needs to do so that was perfect, a really nice exercise for him. He’s come out of Wetherby really well. He shows all the signs at home that he is no different to how he’s ever been. I think it probably didn’t help that at Wetherby they didn't go much of a gallop so under those circumstances if we got to live that race again we would probably have been a little bit handier to compensate.”
Paisley Park idles in his races so Lavelle is planning to run him in cheek pieces on Friday week, where a good run will delay any thoughts of switching to a novice chase campaign.
She added, “I’d like to stay over hurdles if we can and if he runs well next time that will probably be the route. I hope cheek pieces will make a little bit of a difference. It will just help him travel for that little bit longer. I do want to make sure he schools well in them first and that he doesn’t sit behind them. It’s tiring for us to watch him when he runs like that, as much as it is for him. He clearly still wants to do it, otherwise he wouldn’t be finishing out his races the way he does. I think he is just a little bit wiser.”
Nicky Henderson will give the exciting Jonbon his first start over hurdles on the Friday of the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival.
The J P McManus-owned five-year-old, the brother of top class Douvan who cost his owner £570,000 when going through the sales ring in 2020, was among the Henderson team to have a gallop at the track during the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival Gallops Morning. He was the comfortable winner of a bumper race at Newbury in March and the former point-to-point winner will tackle jumps in Britain for the first time in the 2m maiden hurdle won previously by Buveur D’Air.
“He just wants to get on with it,” said Henderson. “He’s a natural fidget and was on his toes today. It was just a matter of how he was going to get on on his own. He is a beautiful horse. Looks aren’t everything but it helps. The plan is to come to Newbury on Friday. This will have done him the world of good. I don’t know if it will have calmed him down or revved him up. Whichever way it will have done its job and he will make his debut in the two mile novice hurdle.”