Paisley Park Wins Long Walk to Throw Hat into Stayers Hurdle Ring

The stayers hurdling division is probably the most wide open it has ever been. However, that is simply because we have a lack of good staying hurdlers at the minute, and the general feeling with the ones we do have is that they are all capable of beating each other on their day. On Saturday, the youngster Paisley Park came home nicely to take the Long Walk Hurdle, and in doing so he threw his hat into the ring for the stayers crown. The plan for him to go to Cheltenham has been in motion all summer, with wins at Aintree, Haydock and now Ascot with his next race coming at Cheltenham in the stayers hurdle.

The youngster has the right engine and although we have only seen him on flat tracks so far this season, his run style suggests that he is going to relish the test of an uphill finish that he will get at the festival in March. He stays on strongly towards the end of his races and as other horses are stuggling over the final few yards, he should be the one relishing things and moving through the pack.

It is hard to work out what he actually beat on Saturday in his first real test outside of handicap company, but whatever he did was in impressive fashion. The edge was taken off the race when both Sam Spinner and Unowhatimeanharry fell at the same hurdle on separate circuits, but as the old saying goes, you can only beat what is put in front of you, something Paisley Park certainly did on Saturday.

There will be no prep run ahead of the stayers hurdle, with just over two months to go until the festival, Paisley Park will head straight there fresh.