Paisley Park secured a win in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in his first outing of the campaign.
The Emma Lavelle-trained star managed four wins in as many attempts last season, including clinching the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Festival will be the long-term goal again this year and Lavelle admits she felt a sense of relief to see the seven-year-old get back to action with a bang on Friday.
"I'm delighted for Andrew [Gemmell, owner] and I'm delighted for the team. As long as everything is good after today, it will be Ascot next for the Long Walk [December 21] and then the same sort of route as last season," she said.
"It's a massive sigh of relief. We were saying beforehand, 'isn't it great to have this kind of pressure', but it did feel like quite a lot of pressure. I'm so thrilled for everybody and I'm thrilled for the horse as much as anything.
"He won well in the end and the buzz is unbelievable. To train a horse like this is a massive privilege and a responsibility as well.
"I don't want to get him beaten for everybody, so for him to do it the way he did with the improvement still there it is just really exciting.
"I think he is just amazing."
Article Posted on Friday 29th November 2019 @ 16.41
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