Cork jockey gets first Cheltenham win in 10 years

Cork jockey gets first Cheltenham win in 10 years
Photo Healy Racing.

Cork jockey Aidan Coleman claimed his first Cheltenham win in 10 years this afternoon, riding home Paisley Park in the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle which got underway at 3.30pm.

Emma Lavelle's seven-year-old - whose owner Andrew Gemmell has been blind from birth - had enjoyed a perfect season to date with four impressive victories which saw punters send him off at 11-8.

Innishannon born Coleman saw off stiff competition from the likes of former champion hurdler Faugheen and Sam Spinner on the final fences to claim the feature event.

Coleman currently has more than 800 career winners.

Paisley Park proved a comfortable winner in the end but survived a last-flight blunder, clipping the fence.

The win is Coleman's first at the Festival since steering Kayf Aramis to victory in the Pertemps Final in 2009.

His first ever Grade 1 win came in December when he partnered Paisley Park to a win at Ascot.

As he has in the past, Paisley Park had got a little outpaced with a mile to run at Cheltenham, but just like in the Cleeve Hurdle, he came charging around the outside to take over from Sam Spinner, a 33-1 chance this year having been sent off favourite 12 months ago.

With Faugheen now running on empty in third it looked a foregone conclusion, but with a length lead approaching the last, Paisley Park launched himself at it, managing to stay on his feet before winning by two and three-quarter lengths.

The story of his owner has been well told in the build up to the meeting and hot on the heels of Bryony Frost bringing the house down aboard Frodon in the Ryanair Chase, the Cheltenham crowd welcomed home another popular winner.

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