The rematch is on! Paisley Park and Thyme Hill head ten Long Walk declarations
Paisley Park and Thyme Hill will renew their rivalry after the pair were among ten declarations for Saturday's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot (2.25).
Paisley Park handed trainer Emma Lavelle and jockey Aidan Coleman their first Grade 1 win in this race two years ago, but missed the race last year when Lavelle withdrew the 2019 Stayers' Hurdle hero at the eleventh hour after the card only went ahead following two inspections.
He was beaten by a length and a half on his return to action at Newbury last month by Thyme Hill, but the eight-year-old will not have to concede 3lb this time.
Also declared for the Long Walk is Main Fact, one of the stories of the year after winning nine races in a row – six of them over hurdles. As confirmed on Tuesday, conditional jockey Fergus Gillard keeps the ride after the pair's Haydock success last month, with this his first opportunity in a Grade 1.
Last year's winner The Worlds End has been declared to have his first start for Olly Murphy, with Jonjo O'Neill Jr booked to ride the nine-year-old for the first time.
Thistlecrack, the 2015 Long Walk winner, has also been declared for his first start since last November, while West Yorkshire Hurdle winner Roksana, Irish raider The Jam Man, Portrush Ted, Third Wind and Younevercall complete the line-up, the largest Grade 1 field of the season in Britain.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Sire Du Berlais, Kildisart, Lil Rockerfeller and Thomas Darby were the four runners taken out of the Long Walk at the final declaration stage.
Buzz, an impressive course-and-distance winner last month, heads 17 runners declared for the Grade 3 Betfair Exchange Trophy, while 11 have been declared for the Listed Good Luck Hollie in Spoty Silver Cup Handicap Chase including The Conditional, Espoir De Guye and Regal Encore.
Confirmed runners and riders for the Long Walk Hurdle
1 Main Fact (Fergus Gillard)
2 Paisley Park (Aidan Coleman)
3 Portrush Ted (Gavin Sheehan)
4 The Jam Man (Denis O'Regan)
5 The Worlds End (Jonjo O'Neill Jr)
6 Third Wind (Tom O'Brien)
7 Thistlecrack (Tom Scudamore)
8 Thyme Hill (Richard Johnson)
9 Younevercall (David Bass)
10 Roksana (Harry Skelton)
Long Walk Hurdle
Bet365: 2-1 Paisley Park, Thyme Hill, 5 Main Fact, 15-2 Roksana, 16 The Worlds End, 20 Thistlecrack, Younevercall, The Jam Man, 33 Third Wind, 40 Portrush Ted
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