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Freshness could be advantage as Thyme Hill readies for Grade 1 battle with Paisley Park at Aintree

, Freshness could be advantage as Thyme Hill readies for Grade 1 battle with Paisley Park at Aintree

TRAINER Philip Hobbs reckons freshness could be to Thyme Hill’s advantage in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree on Saturday.

His staying star is set to take on Paisley Park in the three-mile Grade 1 after he missed Cheltenham with a setback.

Jockey Richard Johnson had partnered Thyme Hill on all his outings apart from on his debut

And with the retired Dicky Johnson out of the picture, it gives long-time stable number two Tom O’Brien the chance to shine.

Hobbs said: “He’s still all set to go to Aintree, Dicky going changes nothing.

“He looks to be over his issue that made us miss Cheltenham, it looks that way anyway.

“Tom [O’Brien] has been second in line for us for years so it’s great he gets the leg-up.

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“He knows the horse, I wouldn’t worry at all.”

Most bookies make him 5-2 favourite for Aintree ahead of Paisley Park who was only third in the Stayers’.

Flooring Porter took that race, but had Thyme Hill not been ruled out with a muscle problem, Hobbs thinks he would have been in the mix.

He added: “We can’t say he would have won, but on ratings you’d have to think we would have been right in the picture.

“We’re still progressive we hope and obviously some of the others will probably have had a hard race at Cheltenham.

“That might be an advantage, we’ll see.”

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