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Emma Lavelle maps out path to Punchestown for superstar Paisley Park

Emma Lavelle is hoping that Paisley Park's quiet campaign will help him to fulfil owner Andrew Gemmell's dream of a Punchestown winner come the end of the season.

Last year's Stayers' Hurdle winner had won four times by this stage last season, yet he is set to run in next week's Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham with just a single win at Newbury to his name.

Speaking to the Racing Post for the Big Read, Lavelle said: "We've been a little more circumspect with him this season and so hopefully we can elongate his campaign at the other end. Andy has always been keen to go to Punchestown and I think the track there would suit him better than Aintree, so that's where we'll aim if all goes well at the festival."

Paisley Park didn't necessarily impress everyone with his reappearance win in the Long Distance Hurdle, but Lavelle was just happy to get the job done in a race that she says carried more pressure than any of the others her superstar had been involved in.

Lavelle said: "Cheltenham in March is obviously the goal and you want to leave a bit to work on, but you want to win those big races along the way as well, partly because you start to look a bit daft if you don't win them when you're odds-on and partly because they're worth a lot of money, so I'd say for all of us Newbury was more pressure than any race he'd ever run in."

Paisley Park will be joined at Cheltenham on Trials Day by stablemate De Rasher Counter. The Ladbrokes Trophy winner is now firmly on the Gold Cup trail and Lavelle added: "I'm under no illusions that he's got to step up again to be a genuine Gold Cup contender but it's an open division, he's got a high cruising speed, he stays and he jumps, which all gives you a chance."

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