Tony Mullins: “Paisley Park Will Get Beat”

Paisley Park and Aidan Coleman win the Stayers' Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival

He’s seen as many punters’ best bets of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, but Tony Mullins – brother to Willie and father of Danny Mullins – thinks that Paisley Park will see his seven-race winning sequence come to an end in next week’s Stayers’ Hurdle.

Tony Mullins, part of a four-man panel – along with host Matt Chapman – at last night’s attheraces.com Cheltenham Preview, made the bold claim that “I certainly wouldn’t have Paisley Park as my banker of the week” – going even further by nominating Tom George’s Summerville Boy as the horse likeliest to beat him.

Summerville Boy, winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, has enjoyed something of a renaissance since having his chasing career shelved.

The eight-year-old Sandmason gelding ran out a 10/1 winner of the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, and he stepped forward on that performance when chasing home Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle back at that venue later in the month.

His second-place finish there brought his form figures at Prestbury Park to a healthy 231712 – and Tony Mullins feels that there is every chance of the placings being reversed in the Stayers’ Hurdle – which is run on Day Three of next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

Tony Mullins, synonymous with his partnership aboard the legendary Dawn Run, stated: “Summerville Boy (has) raced at two miles all of his life, he was able to be held-up in a Supreme and come through to win it, and then on his first go at three miles he jumps out and makes it a stamina test against the best stamina horse in the country”.

“I was very surprised at that, I mean he played into Paisley Park’s lap, and he only got passed at the last. That was his first run over three miles – this horse had the class to win a Supreme Novice.

Mullins continued, “I certainly wouldn’t have Paisley Park as my banker of the week – I think Summerville Boy will win”.

That is certainly a bold statement from the Gowran-based handler, who clearly feels that adopting more patient tactics will pay dividends for Summerville Boy, and his connections, next week.

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