Paisley Park ‘bouncing’ for Cleeve hat-trick bid

Paisley Park is reported to be “bouncing” as he prepares for the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham this month.

The nine-year-old will be bidding for a hat-trick in the Grade Two contest on January 30, having landed it before going on to glory in the 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle and then winning again 12 months ago.

Paisley Park subsequently failed to fire in his Stayers’ defence last year after suffering a heart issue. But he has roared back to form this term, finishing second in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and then gaining revenge on Thyme Hill in the Long Walk at Ascot before Christmas.

Trainer Emma Lavelle is keen to capitalise on the nine-year-old’s current well-being and is planning to head back to Prestbury Park next.

She said: “He’s absolutely bouncing, and the Cleeve is very much his next race.

“He’s just turned nine – he should be in his prime and running in races.

“He was an odds-on favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle last year and then he had a heart issue, so I think when they’re well and in good form – I know it’s easy to say with a horse like him – he should go to the races.”

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