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Cheekpieces for Paisley Park as top stayer bids for another Long Distance Hurdle

Paisley Park: will wear first-time cheekpieces in Friday's Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle
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Paisley Park will wear first-time cheekpieces in his bid to win the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle again as he heads a field of six runners for the Grade 2 at Newbury on Friday.

Emma Lavelle's stable star landed the race in 2019 but found Thyme Hill a length and a half too good last season when second.

“This is an important race for Paisley Park to decide what the next step is,” said Lavelle. “He doesn’t in any way suggest at home that he is any different to how he’s been in other years, but he has to go and do it at Newbury.

"We are not putting them [cheekpieces] on because he is ungenuine or saving something for himself, therefore it’s not about having a visor to block out everything, it’s about doing something to make him concentrate a bit more and stop him worrying about galloping alongside other horses.”

Strong opposition comes in the shape of the Paul Webber-trained Indefatigable. She successfully defeated Paisley Park in a Grade 2 at Wetherby last month in receipt of 13lb, but on Friday that weight difference is reduced to 7lb. Thomas Darby, who finished fourth on that occasion, also re-opposes.

An intriguing runner comes from the yard of Rebecca Curtis. Recently bouncing back to form after enduring a difficult period when switching feed suppliers, the trainer will rely on 2020 Stayers' Hurdle hero Lisnagar Oscar, but he has not won since that day at Cheltenham. 

3.00 Newbury: Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle full card and betting

The first day of Newbury's November meeting also features the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Novices' Chase (12.40), won in recent years by future Grade 1 winners Champ, Clan Des Obeaux and Coneygree.

With the absence of a Nicky Henderson-trained runner, who has been responsible for the past two winners of the 2m4f chase, four horses have been declared including Pic D'Orhy and Millers Bank.

Nassalam, running for the father and son team of Gary and Jamie Moore, is also in contention with Tea Clipper rounding out the field.

Long Distance Hurdle runners and riders

Paisley Park Aidan Coleman
On The Blind Side Nico de Boinville
Lisnagar Oscar Adam Wedge
Thomas Darby Sean Bowen
Indefatigable Daryl Jacob
Mrs Milner Bryan Cooper

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This is an important race for Paisley Park to decide what the next step is
E.W. Terms