Paisley Park is in great form ahead of the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday. He’s absolutely flying. We couldn’t be happier with him.
That’s why I’m able to feel at this stage pretty relaxed. Everything has gone as well as it possibly could and so long as that continues until Thursday then there’s no reason to be anything other than relaxed.
We didn’t run him at Ascot before Christmas, but the wet forecast for Thursday isn’t really a concern for us. At Ascot I wasn’t worried about the ground being wet or heavy, it was just a case of where it had been poached the day before, and then the rain on top, it was to us false patches rather than it being heavy generally.
I don’t think he really worries what ground he’s running in. I just didn’t want to run the risk at Ascot of something happening to him with the ground being a bit false.
What was great for us of late was the Cleve Hurdle at Cheltenham back in January. That was the first time others have tried to be tactical in trying to beat him, and it just didn’t make any difference.
That has relaxed all of us. It doesn’t matter how the race is won, he is very able to adapt.
He’s not slow. There’s an illusion that because he’s running over three miles and a bit because of his style, but actually when it comes to it he’s got plenty of boot.
You need luck in running, you need everything to go well, but he’s a pretty solid favourite.
In terms of Paisley Park’s rivals, there would need to be a big step up from where they’ve been and what they have shown so far. I think he’s as good as we’ve ever had him and hopefully that will be good enough.
He’ll be our one and only runner at the Festival. I never want to run something at Cheltenham unless I think it’s got a real chance. I’d rather be winning with something that has got a chance somewhere else rather than just wasting it at Cheltenham.
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