Paisley Park may make his seasonal reappearance in the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby this month.
Emma Lavelle’s stable star was the dominant force in the division in his pomp, and has the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and two victories in the Long Walk at Ascot on his stellar CV.
The nine-year-old was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart when defending his Stayers’ Hurdle crown in 2020, but bounced back last season to regain his Long Walk title before finishing third behind Flooring Porter at Cheltenham in March.
A final outing at Aintree’s Grand National meeting proved to be one too many, but owner Andrew Gemmell reports his pride and joy to be in rude health for the new campaign – so much so, that he has been pencilled in to run on the Charlie Hall Chase undercard on October 30th.
Gemmell said: “I saw him yesterday (Tuesday) actually, and he’s extremely well – everything looks good.
“I gave him lots of polos – and he seems to be really, really well.”
There had been some suggestion that Paisley Park might pursue a career over fences this season, but he looks set to remain over the smaller obstacles for the time being at least.
“I think at the moment we’re intending to start hurdling,” added Gemmell.
“He’s so well at the moment that we’re even considering going for the hurdle at Wetherby at the end of this month.
“We can see where we are and decide from there what we do.”
While very much looking forward to the jumps season proper getting under way, Gemmell has also enjoyed a memorable campaign on the Flat thanks the exploits of Trueshan – of whom he is a part-owner.
Gemmell was at ParisLongchamp on Saturday to witness the Alan King-trained gelding add the Prix du Cadran to his Goodwood Cup success during the summer.
Connections plan to assess his well-being before deciding whether to allow him to bid for back-to-back wins the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday week.
Reflecting on his victory over Stradivarius in Paris, Gemmell said: “It was exceptionally special.
“He’d obviously missed a couple of races. Missing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot was disappointing, given the ground the following day would have been perfect after the rain came, and then he had to miss the Lonsdale Cup at York and the Doncaster Cup.
“It was nice to get it right this time. For him to beat Stradivarius by four and a half lengths was pretty impressive, really.
“We’ll wait and see how he is on Monday and see whether to head to Ascot. If not, there’s the Prix Royal-Oak the following week.”