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Race of the season at Newbury as star stayers clash in Long Distance Hurdle

Paisley Park will take on new challengers McFabulous and Thyme Hill for the first time and attempt to turn around form with Stayers' Hurdle hero Lisnagar Oscar in a star-studded showdown of Newbury's Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (3.00) on Friday.

The Emma Lavelle-trained eight-year-old is looking to bounce back after his seven-race winning sequence came to an end in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. He has since been treated for an irregular heartbeat and is looking to replicate his win in this Newbury Grade 2 from 12 months ago.

But Paisley Park's test is much tougher this time with McFabulous, an electric winner of the Persian War last month, now being upped in trip. Many bookmakers make the Paul Nicholls-trained runner the chief threat to Paisley Park in the 2021 Stayers' Hurdle.

Thyme Hill is another joining the staying hurdling division and comes back to Newbury, the scene of his Challow win last December. The Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old lost only once last season, when an unlucky fourth in the Albert Bartlett.

Meanwhile 50-1 Stayers' Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar is out to rubberstamp his place at the top of the division, although he will need to bounce back from a below-par run at Wetherby on his seasonal return.

Grade 1 winners Summerville Boy and Sam Spinner also compete alongside Vision Des Flos, Aux Ptits Soins, One Night In Milan and recent Cheltenham winner Honest Vic.

The other Grade 2 on the card, the Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Novices' Chase (1.50), has only attracted three runners with Fiddlerontheroof the one to beat on ratings.

Winner of the Tolworth last season, he got off the mark over fences at Exeter last time and is rated 8lb higher than his two challengers Caribean Boy and Getaway Trump.

Also on the card, Sprinter Sacre's brother Flinteur Sacre has his first start over hurdles in the opening 2m maiden hurdle. Buveur D'Air and Lostintranslation are among top-class horses to have won the race in recent years.

Long Distance Hurdle runners and riders

Lisnagar Oscar Sean Bowen
Paisley Park Aidan Coleman
Summerville Boy Jonathan Burke
McFabulous Harry Cobden
Thyme Hill Richard Johnson
Aux Ptits Soins Harry Skelton
Honest Vic Richard Patrick
One Night In Milan Craig Nichol
Sam Spinner Joe Colliver
Vision Des Flos Robbie Power

 

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