Wednesday 23 October 2019

Park a Punchestown possible

Today's meeting at Ffos Las has been called off due to a waterlogged track (stock photo)
Today's meeting at Ffos Las has been called off due to a waterlogged track (stock photo)

Keith Hamer

Emma Lavelle will bide her time before deciding whether to head to the Punchestown Festival with Stayers' Hurdle hero Paisley Park. The seven-year-old was crowned king of the three-mile division at Cheltenham on Thursday, adding a second Grade One to his tally after landing the JLT Hurdle at Ascot earlier in the campaign.

While Lavelle has ruled out a quick reappearance at Aintree next month, a trip to Punchestown at the end of April remains a possible option. "He's in great order, but Aintree will come too soon. It's too close to Cheltenham," she said.

"We'll see what happens whether we go to Punchestown or not. He's had a great year. He's only seven years old. He's got a great future ahead of him, touch wood."

Meanwhile, Potters Corner gave Christian Williams the biggest win of his fledgling training career with a dour staying performance in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

The nine-year-old was bouncing back from successive falls in Wincanton's Somerset National and then the Eider Chase at Newcastle to prevail this time by three lengths at 20-1 from Ms Parfois.

James Bowen always had Potters Corner close up, going well behind a steady pace set initially by Bryony Frost on Milansbar. Ms Parfois, a Grand National entry for resurgent Anthony Honeyball, was also prominent throughout and led into the straight in driving rain and a fierce gale on increasingly heavy ground.

But it was Potters Corner, in strong contention when coming down on his previous two starts, who got it right and kept going the best over this marathon four-and-a-quarter-mile trip.

There were 12 more lengths back to Get On The Yager in third, with Prime Venture fourth another three away.

Williams, formerly a successful jockey who spent much of his riding career at Paul Nicholls' powerful yard, trains Potters Corner for a syndicate involving Wales rugby union international Jonathan Davies.

Today's meeting at Ffos Las has been called off due to a waterlogged track. Racing was cancelled after a second inspection yesterday afternoon as the course failed to cope with heavy rain.

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