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Cheltenham: Paisley Park going for a treble

Paisley Park bids for a hat-trick in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday and has a rematch with Stayers' Hurdle second favourite Champ.

Emma Lavelle's stable star finished third to Champ in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last month and has not quite been at the peak of his powers this season - with Paisley Park 9/2 to win the Cleeve Hurdle once again.

The ten-year-old, who is reunited with Aidan Coleman, has won the last two editions of this Grade 2 contest, beating West Approach by 12 lengths in 2019 and Summerville Boy by a length and a quarter last year.

Paisley Park's other victory at Cheltenham came in the Stayers' Hurdle in 2019, a race he finished third in last season when a short-priced favourite.

He has finished third on all three starts this season with Lavelle hoping for some rain in the next couple of days to see Paisley Park at his best.

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Lavelle said: “He's in very good form, it's so frustrating that just as we're about to run him, we haven't had any rain again, but he'll give it his best shot."

Lavelle saw spark in Park

She added: "He showed his old spark in the Long Walk Hurdle and ran a super race. He galloped to the line, but the ground is really important.

"He's not bothered what he runs on, but testing ground slows all the other horses down and makes it a truer test of stamina. Considering the good to soft going, he ran as well as he possibly could at Ascot."

Paisley Park is not the only Stayers' Hurdle winner in the five-runner line-up as Lisnagar Oscar has also been declared for Adam Wedge and Rebecca Curtis.

Relkeel Hurdle second McFabulous and outsider Dandy Mag complete the field, with the last time only five runners contested the race being back in 1998.

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