The Aidan Coleman column: Midlands National test will suit Ms Parfois

By Aidan Coleman
Fri 15 Mar 2019

To be a small part of the Paisley Park story is humbling. His win in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival was the result many expected, and he was put forward as one of the bankers of the week.

I was confident before the race, but there was added pressure to bring it home, so there was a lot of relief as I hit the line.

I was delighted for Andrew Gemmell (the owner), who is a massive sports enthusiast and just a thoroughly nice guy, while Emma Lavelle has been fantastic to me over the years.

Relive Paisley Park's success in the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle

It is a pleasure to be associated with them.

The race went just as I thought it would, and I knew how he would come down the hill. In the end, his turn of foot probably got me there too soon.

He was pricking his ears in front which is why he made a mistake at the last. But he got over it. He had jumped really well up to then.

I celebrated by playing some Xbox and watching some golf, the Players Championship, the unofficial fifth major. Not very rock and roll, but it was just a lovely feeling knowing I had claimed one of the four Festival majors – a tenuous link to the golf I know!

But that is done now. I have had my day and it’s now back to business and my attention turns to Uttoxeter.

 A fabulous feeling at te end of the Stayers' Hurdle (Focusonracing)
A fabulous feeling at te end of the Stayers' Hurdle (Focusonracing)

Midlands National test will suit Ms Parfois

I am on Ms Parfois in the big race of the day, the Marston's 61 Deep Midlands Grand National.

She was fancied for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in December, but Anthony’s (Honeyball) horses were under a bit of a cloud and I don’t think she was herself. She still finished sixth, albeit beaten a long way.

I have to say, I think this race is absolutely made for her, as she loves extreme trips and she will relish the ground too.

Anthony also has a good chance in the Marston's Pedigree Handicap Hurdle. Acey Milan, fourth when favourite for the Champion Bumper last year, has had three starts over hurdles, winning his last under me at Plumpton last month. I can see him running very well on his handicap debut.

My other ride, Hideaway Vic, is for Anthony too. I was pleased with his hurdles debut at Ffos Las in November and, given the expected improvement, he will have a good chance in the Marston's Brewery Novices' Hurdle.

I wish Noel a happy retirement

Finally, I’m going to miss Noel Fehily, who announced his upcoming retirement this week.

He was a great jockey, a great man, and he will be missed by all of us big time. He’s ridden seven winners at the Festival, including three championship races, so I have got a long way to go to match those achievements.

All the best for the future Noel.

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