It’s not often that a coach is happy with the revised handicap scores, but Emma Lavelle insists she is “happy” that Killer Clown had a chance to fight after her wide margin victory at Wincanton. Saturday.
The eight-year-old scored the second hunting success of his career, landing a Class 2 handicap of nine and a half lengths under Tom Bellamy.
The gelding owned by Tim Syder has now reached a revised rating of 142, although any idea of a trip to the Cheltenham Festival is on the back burner for the time being.
Lavelle said: “Killer Clown has increased by 7 pounds which is fair enough and he seems to have done well in the run so that’s awesome.
“If he was very bright we could watch Ascot (bet365 Handicap Chase Saturday Week), but at this point I’m happy with our scoring standings and we’ll make some decisions next week.
“There’s no point going to the well too often at this time of year.
Although Killer Clown took a while to blossom, Ogbourne manager Maizey has always given him a lot of thought and the key to his improved form has been the addition of a tongue tie.
Lavelle added: “He’s a smasher, he really is. He ran well but didn’t continue as much as we had hoped and I think the tongue tie made a big difference. for him, because he definitely saw his race come out well.
“He didn’t have to do too much on Saturday but he galloped to the line and certainly on his home job it seems to have made the difference for him.”
However, long term goals may not include a trip to Prestbury Park.
“There are nice two and a half mile handicaps in the spring, with nice prices to go with it. I don’t know if Cheltenham would be the right place to go with him,” she added. .
“As far as Aintree goes, you fight on the Mildmay track for two and a half mile runs with him and then you end up looking at Topham or something. I don’t know – we’ll see. There are options there. -low.”
Meanwhile, Lavelle is hoping the recent rain will persist for former Stayers’ Hurdle winner Paisley Park, who is expected to return to Cheltenham on test day.
Having finished third in each of its three starts this season, Paisley Park is on course to try to win the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle for the third time, after wins in 2019 and 2020.
“Touch wood, it’s in great shape and the Cleeve Hurdle is quite the plan,” Lavelle confirmed.
“He’s on the right track for this and we are looking forward to him. Hopefully for him, anyway, the rain keeps falling, because that’s what he needs – that good test.”
Any plans to belatedly send Andrew Gemmell’s 10-year-old son over the fences have been dashed by a dry fall and if all goes well the Stayers’ Hurdle, which he won in 2019, remains the primary objective.
“I cannot say that I am so disappointed that we have overcome the obstacles again,” she added.
“I think it was an option to get over the fences and his run in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot was a good run on ground that was really unsuitable, and I can’t wait to see him run on soft ground. and see where we are with him.