‘He is such a battler’: Emma Lavelle heaps praise on Paisley Park after dramatic victory over favourite Thyme Hill in Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot
- Paisley Park won in a tight finish with Thyme Hill in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot
- The Emma Lavelle-trained gelding rescued a lost cause after dropping back
- Lavelle said Paisley Park ‘doesn’t make it easy watching’ but is a ‘battler’
Paisley Park snatched an unlikely dramatic neck victory from favourite Thyme Hill in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot to confirm he is back to his best.
The Emma Lavelle-trained gelding’s cause looked forlorn as he got shuffled back and lost his place on the home turn with jockey Aidan Coleman cursing his luck. But the eight-year-old engaged his trademark extra gear to rescue what looked like a lost cause.
Lavelle said: ‘He doesn’t make it easy for us watching but he wears his heart on his sleeve and is such a battler.’
Paisley Park with jockey Aidan Coleman (centre) won in a tight finish with Thyme Hill at Ascot
Paisley Park (right) engaged his trademark extra gear to rescue what looked like a lost cause
Paisley Park lost his Stayers’ Hurdle crown at Cheltenham in March and afterwards was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart.
Nursed back gradually by Lavelle, Paisley Park had been an encouraging second to Thyme Hill in last month’s Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury. Lavelle joked: ‘I think I’m more concerned about my heart now than his!’
Paisley Park is 5-2 favourite (from 5-1) for the next Stayers’ Hurdle.
Relieved trainer Emma Lavelle (right) said Paisley Park ‘doesn’t make it easy for us watching’