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Horse Racing - Racing: Punchestown on the cards for Paisley Park

Paisley Park is set to have his first ever run in Ireland next month after his latest gallant effort at the Cheltenham Festival when finishing third in the Grade 1 Stayers' Hurdle last Thursday.

The 10-year-old, who won the staying crown in 2019, was making his fifth straight appearance at the Festival when beaten just two and three quarter lengths behind Flooring Porter and was just a nose shy of runner-up Thyme Hill.

Paisley Park earns admirers at Cheltenham

Prior to that, Emma Lavelle's stable star had returned to winning ways when landing the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle at the track for a remarkable third time.

In previous year's Paisley Park has headed to Aintree after Cheltenham but has cut little ice on Merseyside and connections are instead considering the Grade 1 Champion Stayers' Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival on 28th April. You can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming service.

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Lavelle outlines plan

The fact that the Punchestown assignment is three weeks after the Aintree equivalent will allow Paisley Park longer recovery time from his fourth consecutive appearance in the Stayers' Hurdle. 

Trainer Emma Lavelle said: "Paisley Park is absolutely perfect and, as things stand, we'll look to go to Punchestown. In years gone by we've thought about the same programme back to Cheltenham, but he's loving his racing and gallops his heart out every time he runs. As long as the ground's safe at Punchestown, why not?

On making a first trip to Ireland, Lavelle added: "I think he'll cope with Punchestown better than he would Aintree because the problem with Aintree is the track is too sharp. Punchestown would be a more suitable track for him and we've got more time until then - it comes at the perfect time."

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