Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Press Release 27th December 2022 Kempton Park

The second race at Kempton Park today was the Grade One Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle, which was a rearranged contest following the abandonment of Ascot on December 17th.

A different venue proved no problem for Paisley Park (9-2) who added to his 2018 and 2020 victories to bring up a hat-trick of wins in the extended three-mile contest.

Partnered as usual by Aidan Coleman, the 10 year old raced towards the rear of the five-strong field as Champ (7-4 Favourite) made the running. Hitting his usual flat spot three flights from home, Paisley Park rallied to move into a challenging position and took the lead approaching the last. He stayed on strongly to go on and score by four and a quarter lengths from Goshen with Champ another half-length back in third.

This was a fourth Grade One success for Paisley Park, who is owned by Andrew Gemmell. Coral make him a 14-1 chance to repeat his 2019 success in the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival.

Barry Fenton, partner and assistant to winning trainer to Emma Lavelle, said: “It’s just unbelievable really, he pulls it out the bag every time. He just seems to have that spark back this year. I was a bit worried over the first two hurdles but even tacking him up before the race, he just seems right. He’s not even just a bit better than last year, he feels like he’s as good as we’ve had him. Last year everything was a bit hard work, even training him at home, but this year he seems bright and happy and enjoying himself. He’s one of those horses.

“This was probably his least favourite ground, but I said to Aidan that this is Paisley Park and you never know what is going to happen. To be fair I was happy going to the third last and it was just when we landed at the back of it that all of a sudden we were under the pump and under it proper. The dead ground probably helped us in the sense that the others came back to him and once he gets a feel that the others are coming back to him he’s at it again.

“He’s a really good-moving horse, we could work him on five furlongs at home with a two-miler and he’ll do that – he’s not a slow horse. He probably proved that at Newbury last time on ground they thought was going to be too quick, but he travelled really well. I think on this tacky ground people say he hits that flat spot, I think it just takes him time to get going because he’s a very good moving and well balanced horse. Once he hits that gear he’ll keep rolling all the way home, whereas on better ground he can speed up that bit easier.

“He’s a credit to himself, he’s one of those horses and he always pulls through. We nearly lost him a couple of times but he’s a fighter and he pulls through. He’s a poker player and I’d hate to play poker with him as you would not know what’s under his sleeve! That’s the way he trains at home, he takes his every day stuff with a pinch of salt but he’s an incredible horse.

“I’ve spoken to Emma and she’s happy and funnily enough I’ve spoken to Andrew (Gemmell) on the phone. He’s down in Australia so I’m gutted for him that he’s not here, but at least the race was on after Ascot and I was giving him the commentary. I won’t say what he said at the end, but he was very happy anyways!”

Winning rider Aidan Coleman said: “It was hard work from the back of two out but I picked up again and saw it out. He always does keep going, it was just a case of having faith in him on this track. It doesn’t really play to his strengths as he’s a dour stayer and luckily his class came out from the second last to the last and then all the way to the line.

“He’s been a great servant to connections and it’s great to see him still running at the top level at his age – it takes a lot of doing.”

Jamie Moore, rider of runner-up Goshen, said: “He stayed well and ran well but he was simply not good enough.”

Josh Moore, assistant trainer to his father Gary, said of runner-up Goshen: “He ran well. You would rather run him over these trips or two and a half miles but there are not many of them races about, especially right-handed. You would have probably the race rather been at Ascot as that might have suited him a bit better. He has ran well.

“He is only a six year and both Paisley Park and Champ are 10 year-olds. Hopefully there will be other targets for him.

“We will give him another go over fences when it is heavy ground. It was just far too quick for him at Ascot as he is a proper soft ground horse. There is a race there for him. He is still in good form anyway.”

Trainer Nicky Henderson said of third-placed Champ: “It was a great race but he is better going the other way. Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course) said he was going to have some nice soft ground and well done them for putting it on and we are grateful for that but he is better going the other way round. He does everything to his left.

“It was lovely when the other horse was on his outside but for the last circuit that dropped off. I would have liked him to stay where he was. It was a good race and he set a good gallop but it didn’t quite work.

“He could do that (go for the Cleeve). He is a very good horse when he is fresh though. We ummed and arred whether to go to Newbury or keep him fresh for the Long Walk and we opted for Newbury as we thought we had the opportunity there. It was a great race and we got that. I was very pleased when this was delayed a week as it gave him an extra week to freshen up a bit more.

“His jumping was a bit untidy at times as he wanted to go left and the course goes right. You could easily do that (keep him fresh for the Stayers’ Hurdle).It is not ducking or diving he just loves to be fresh.”


Cookie Policy

We use “cookies” to help enhance your experience and improve the functionality of our website. You can find out more in our cookie policy. We also serve cookies, some with chocolate chips, on our racecourses.