EVERYONE knows how hard it is to get to the top. Staying there is even harder. Tougher still, and this so difficult that very few manage it, is returning to the top after losing that position, regaining the crown after it has slipped from your grasp. Paisley Park pricks up those big, generous ears and bends to the task with a will, making it look easy.

Two years ago, the star of trainer Emma Lavelle’s successful Wiltshire stable reached the mountain top with a golden, glorious victory in the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Last year, Paisley Park gave up his title almost without a fight, trailing home a weary seventh in the Paddy Power-sponsored contest behind shock winner Lisnagar Oscar. This year he’s climbing the trail again, the peak in sight once more.