Emma Lavelle's Paisley Park was a sensational winner of the Stayers' Hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival on a day that was dominated by the girls. Lavelle's victory in the Thursday showpiece sent favourite backers in raptures as the dour stayer stormed up the hill to claim the staying Grade 1 event.
However, forty minutes it was another girl Bryony Frost that sent Prestbury Park into hysterics as she piloted Frodon to victory in the Ryanair Chase, while in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate it was Lizzie Kelly that stole limelight, as she rode Siruh Du Lac to victory.
The day kicked off with the bookmakers running for cover as Defi Du Seuil outbattled his old foe Lostintranslation to win the JLT Novices' Chase at 3/1 favourite, while the Pertemps Final at 2:10pm saw another heavily supported runner do the business, as Sire Du Berlais fought off a brave Tobefair to hand Barry Geraghty a quickfire double on day three of the meeting.
The stage was then taken over by Frost, who unleash Frodon to the front of the field at the flag fall in the Ryanair Chase, and she duly saw off all her rivals to bag her second Cheltenham Festival win. Aso ran a huge race at monster odds to finish second, but Paul Nicholls decision to not head to the Cheltenham Gold Cup was the right one as Frodon claimed his own Grade 1 prize on Thursday.
Paisley Park took the feature race of the day, as having been hustled down the hill by Aidan Coleman, he picked up in magnificent style to kick clear of Sam Spinner and the resurgent Faugheen to claim the Grade 1 event, which was another victory for favourite backers.
Siruh Du Lac was sent off second favourite for the Plate and Kelly managed to enhance his lofty reputation by edging out the well-supported Janika to put more pain on the bookmakers on what was turning into a horrid day for the layers.
They had some respite in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle, as Noel Fehily - who announced he will be retiring in the coming weeks - rode Eglantine Du Seuil to victory in the penultimate race and the 50/1 rag beat 66/1 outsider Concertista in a thrilling finish, while the finale was won by the Ted Walsh-trained Any Second Now, who handed owner JP McManus more success at what has been a sensational three days of racing.
We are treated to a sparkling Cheltenham Gold Cup day on Friday with Presenting Percy, Native River and Clan Des Obeaux all fancied contenders in the blue riband event, while other highlights include the Triumph Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.