Paisley Park has the horsepower for the Stayers

20-December-2020
20-December-2020 19:23
in General
by Peter McNeile

A deserted Ascot did no justice to the race of the weekend, when a red hot renewal of the Grade I Long Walk Hurdle, sponsored by Porsche, produced a breath-taking three way finish in which last year's winner Paisley Park, scythed down Thyme Hill and Roksana, winner of the Grade I Festival Mares Hurdle to capture the prize.

How appropriate that the race was sponsored by a performance sports car manufacturer, as any supporter of Paisley Park would have had their heart in the mouth turning in, after the game 8 year old was baulked in running, having tracked the market leaders throughout the race. Still down some distance at the last, Paisley Park made up distance at a rate of knots and won by  aneck, going away. 

Paisley Park pounces late to beat Thyme Hill (left) and Roksana (centre)

The Staying Hurdle division is making up to be one of the race categories of the season. There is an impressive array of talent to play with, none afraid to take on the other. After Thyme Hill won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury at the end of last month, it appeared last season's leading novice stayer had laid serious claim to the Stayers title. The score is now one-all, with at least the Cleeve Hurdle to come before the British discover the mettle of the Irish at Cheltenham in March. 

Unsurprisingly, Paisley Park is the apple of Emma Lavelle's eye. The Ogbourne Maizey yard is enjoying a purple patch this mid-December as the season reaches the Christmas halfway point, with a clutch of decent prizes on offer over the Christmas period. Sadly though, it looks as if a majority of these fixtures will be restricted to crowds of 2,000, or just to owners after the tightening of the Covid restrictions. 

These are likely to have an effect on the Point-to-Point calendar too. One immediate casualty this weekend has been the fixture at Charing, already postponed from November. Whilst Chaddesley after Christmas is now accepting bookings for the Harkaway on December 28, it looks highly likely that more fixtures will fall by the wayside between now and the end of February, this despite the herculean efforts of some committees to stage fixtures for a band of horses that is well up to par in numbers, all things considered. 

Last Sunday's International fixture at Barbury enjoyed its highest number of runners ever in its five year history, and it is no exception. Spare a thought however for the Welsh, whose two early fixtures have both been aborted due tom lockdowns, which have also rendered them incapable of travel. The wealth of talent, especially in South Wales, that has been unable to run, is a crying shame. 

Next Event

When?

Season curtailed. Come racing back next winter

 

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Paisley Park has the horsepower for the Stayers

20-December-2020
20-December-2020 19:23
in General
by Peter McNeile

A deserted Ascot did no justice to the race of the weekend, when a red hot renewal of the Grade I Long Walk Hurdle, sponsored by Porsche, produced a breath-taking three way finish in which last year's winner Paisley Park, scythed down Thyme Hill and Roksana, winner of the Grade I Festival Mares Hurdle to capture the prize.

How appropriate that the race was sponsored by a performance sports car manufacturer, as any supporter of Paisley Park would have had their heart in the mouth turning in, after the game 8 year old was baulked in running, having tracked the market leaders throughout the race. Still down some distance at the last, Paisley Park made up distance at a rate of knots and won by  aneck, going away. 

Paisley Park pounces late to beat Thyme Hill (left) and Roksana (centre)

The Staying Hurdle division is making up to be one of the race categories of the season. There is an impressive array of talent to play with, none afraid to take on the other. After Thyme Hill won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury at the end of last month, it appeared last season's leading novice stayer had laid serious claim to the Stayers title. The score is now one-all, with at least the Cleeve Hurdle to come before the British discover the mettle of the Irish at Cheltenham in March. 

Unsurprisingly, Paisley Park is the apple of Emma Lavelle's eye. The Ogbourne Maizey yard is enjoying a purple patch this mid-December as the season reaches the Christmas halfway point, with a clutch of decent prizes on offer over the Christmas period. Sadly though, it looks as if a majority of these fixtures will be restricted to crowds of 2,000, or just to owners after the tightening of the Covid restrictions. 

These are likely to have an effect on the Point-to-Point calendar too. One immediate casualty this weekend has been the fixture at Charing, already postponed from November. Whilst Chaddesley after Christmas is now accepting bookings for the Harkaway on December 28, it looks highly likely that more fixtures will fall by the wayside between now and the end of February, this despite the herculean efforts of some committees to stage fixtures for a band of horses that is well up to par in numbers, all things considered. 

Last Sunday's International fixture at Barbury enjoyed its highest number of runners ever in its five year history, and it is no exception. Spare a thought however for the Welsh, whose two early fixtures have both been aborted due tom lockdowns, which have also rendered them incapable of travel. The wealth of talent, especially in South Wales, that has been unable to run, is a crying shame. 

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