InterviewEmma Lavelle

'If he won the Stayers' that would be the moment to retire - what else would he have to prove?'

Emma Lavelle talks Sam Hendry through Paisley Park's unlikely bid for Stayers' Hurdle glory at the age of 12

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Sam HendryDigital journalist
Emma Lavelle on the gallops at Bonita Racing Stables
Emma Lavelle on the gallops at Bonita Racing StablesCredit: Edward Whitaker

There are lots of things to see when you visit Emma Lavelle's Bonita Racing Stables in the tiny Wiltshire village of Ogbourne Maizey. Stable lads and lasses are trotting up and washing down their faithful companions, Percy the whippet is trying to pinch the biscuit out of my hand, Classic Handicap Chase heroine My Silver Lining is a curious onlooker hanging out of her box and of course there are 150 acres of glorious surroundings in the North Wessex Downs featuring the kind of facilities of which any trainer would be jealous.

But all owners, reporters, friends and fans who rock up first want to catch a glimpse of the hurdling superstar who has called this place home for almost nine years – and that includes Lavelle's peers.

"Other trainers who come in all want to see Paisley Park. He's the special one," Lavelle says of the veteran who holds the most cherished place in the hearts of everyone at her yard.

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Published on 1 March 2024inInterviews

Last updated 14:00, 1 March 2024