G1 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle hope Paisley Park is set to test his credentials in £60,000 G2 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm), which forms part of an excellent seven-race card at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, Saturday, January 26.
Paisley Park, trained by Emma Lavelle, has been successful on all three of his starts this season, with the pick of those wins coming in the in the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 22 and the valuable G3 Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park the previous month.
The Andrew Gemmell-owned seven-year-old began the year when successful in a two and a half-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree in October.
Lavelle, who is based at Ogbourne Maizey, Wiltshire, commented about her stable star: “Paisley Park is in good form and came out of the Long Walk very well.
“We have been very pleased with his work since and the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle is the target.
“We are keen to run as I think it’s a long wait for the Stayers’ Hurdle otherwise, plus we can get some more experience into him.
“We would not want a slog at Cheltenham, but provided it is genuine nice ground, we will look to run.”
In recent years, Inglis Drever (2008), Big Buck's (2009 & 2012) and Thistlecrack (2016) won both races in the same season.
Elsewhere on the card, promising novice Jarveys Plate is on course for the £32,000 G2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (3.00pm) over two and a half miles.
Jarveys Plate improved dramatically for the step up in trip over course and distance on New Year’s Day, when storming to a 13-length victory in the Listed Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
The six-year-old, owned by the Yes No Wait Sorries partnership, finished second to subsequent G1 Tolworth Hurdle victor Elixir De Nutz in the British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle, staged over two miles and a furlong at The International in December.
Fergal O’Brien, who trains locally to Cheltenham near Guiting Power, said:
“Jarveys Plate is a lovely horse to deal with and came out of his Cheltenham win in good form.
“We took a chance by running in that race and it was surprise to win as easily as we did, because it looked a strong race. It was a very good performance.
“He will have to carry a penalty, but the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on Festival Trials Day is the target.
“If we got rain, I don’t think soft ground would inconvenience him."
Monsignor (2000) followed up his success on Festival Trials Day by taking the G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners, while At Fishers Cross (2013), Bobs Worth (2011) and Wichita Lineman (2007) all went on to triumph in the three-mile G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the same meeting.
This year’s renewal is also set to feature Champ (Nicky Henderson), winner of the G1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle and ante-post favourite for the G1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners.
The seven-race programme on Festival Trials Day features the £100,000 G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (2.25pm), staged over three miles and a furlong and a leading trial for the G1 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Looks Like Trouble (2000), Master Oats (1996) and Little Owl (1981) landed both contests in the same season, while the roll of honour also includes another Gold Cup victor in See More Business plus Grand National winners West Tip, Neptune Collonges and Many Clouds.
Last year’s BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase was won by the Brian Ellison-trained Definitly Red, who went on to finish sixth in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and is unbeaten so far this season, with G2 successes at Wetherby and Aintree.
The seven-race programme at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day runs from 12.40pm to 4.10pm and offers a total of £354,000 in prize money.
The gates open at 10.30am on Festival Trials Day.
Tickets in advance can be purchased via www.cheltenham.co.uk
Accompanied children aged 17 and under attend for FREE, and there is also FREE official car parking at the racecourse.
Scott Mills provides after-racing entertainment
DJ Scott Mills from BBC Radio 1 will be taking to the decks in The Centaur from 4.30pm to 6.00pm for the Festival Trials Day after-party.
Club and Tattersalls ticket holders will be able groove into the evening following the last race.
Festival Trials Day
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Time Race Distance Prize Money
12.40 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) 2m 179y £32,000
1.15 Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase 2m 4f 127y £27,500
1.50 Spectra Cyber Security Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 127y £75,000
2.25 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) 3m 1f 56y £100,000
3.00 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f 56y £32,000
3.35 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 7f 213y £60,000
4.10 Steel Plate & Sections Handicap Hurdle 2m 179y £27,500
Total prize money £354,000
Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, March 12, to Friday, March 15, 2019 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season.
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