PAISLEY Park provided trainer Emma Lavelle and jockey Aidan Coleman with their first Grade 1 winner when taking the JLT Hurdle at Ascot.
Lavelle’s charge had won a handicap at Haydock last time out, displaying a trademark turn of foot, and that was once again in evidence in an incident-packed renewal of a race better known as the Long Walk Hurdle.
Firstly, last year’s winner Sam Spinner – who was hesitant at the first hurdle – then got rid of Joe Colliver at the second.
Then at the same flight on the next circuit, the well fancied Unowhatimeanharry took a tumble as the field bunched up.
Approaching the second-last, nothing could be ruled out with confidence, but Paisley Park could be spotted going very well.
Younevercall, Top Notch, Call Me Lord, West Approach and even the outsider Garo De Juilley were all in with a chance approaching the second-last.
It was Paisley Park who jumped the last just in front of West Approach. The two pulled clear, with Paisley Park prevailing by two lengths as Coleman punched the air for an overdue top-level win.
Coleman was delighted, of course, to have a Grade 1 winner under his belt at last. “It’s such a relief,” he said. “I’ve been riding an awful long time and I hadn’t had one.
“I never thought it was on my mind – I’m not far off 1,000 winners – but 50 yards from the line I finally realised what a monkey it was on my back.
“It’s great to win – but I’m almost embarrassed it’s taken me this long.
“He needed to step up again today, and he did, but he doesn’t do much in front – and I got there far too soon. To be fair, today he didn’t pull up too much – he’s just a good horse.”
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