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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Cheltenham fairytale as Cork's Aidan Coleman wins Stayers' Hurdle on Paisley Park

Sam Spinner and Faugheen rounded out the places in Thursday’s feature race.

Aidan Coleman onboard Paisley Park celebrates winning Aidan Coleman celebrates as Paisley Park is led back into the Cheltenham winners' enclosure. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

PAISLEY PARK WAS crowned king of the three-milers with a fairytale victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Thursday afternoon.

After fighting his way into contention in the hands of Innishannon jockey Aidan Coleman, the 11/8 favourite powered up Prestbury Park’s famous hill to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Sam Spinner, with Ruby Walsh and Faugheen a further four lengths back in third.

2019 Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday - Cheltenham Racecourse Coleman and Gemmell celebrate. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Trained by Emma Lavelle, Paisley Park’s bid to win one of the Festival’s marquee races for owner Andrew Gemmell has become one of the central storylines of the week.

Gemmell, who has been blind since birth, bought Paisley Park as a three-year-old in 2015.

“I’ve enjoyed it all the way. It’s been brilliant. It’s brilliant,” he told Racing TV afterwards.

“I cannot believe it. I really cannot.

“Emma and Barry [Fenton, Lavelle's husband] have done brilliantly with this horse. Barry rides him every day, does a fantastic job. Emma’s done a brilliant job. Emma, Barry and Aidan — I’m so chuffed for all three of them, it’s fantastic.”

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Niall Kelly

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