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Paisley Park odds-on for Cheltenham’s Stayers Hurdle after Trials Day win

• ‘He’s getting better,’ says Paisley Park’s trainer, Emma Lavelle
• Santini wins Cotswold Chase to enter Gold Cup argument

Paisley Park went odds-on with most firms for a second Stayers Hurdle success after winning on Trials Day here with a performance that suggests he is even better than he was a year ago. The horse, who has taken his owner, trainer and jockey to unexpected heights, cruised through the Cleeve Hurdle and there was no hint of the flat spot that he was regularly hitting towards the end of his races last season.

“He’s matured,” declared Andrew Gemmell, as he waited to welcome his horse back to the winner’s enclosure. “I think I’ve got to try and mature and not get so excited.” It would be a pity if that happened, as the owner’s delight in Paisley Park has helped to popularise the horse, but fortunately there is no real prospect of the 67-year-old moderating his enthusiasm for the game.

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