WITHOUT doubt the best day of my life, I will treasure it forever.

Those are the words of Andrew Gemmell, owner of the Emma Lavelle trained Paisley Park - who last week romped to a two-and-three-quarter length Stayers’ Hurdle win at the Cheltenham Festival.

Blind since birth, Gemmell – a racing fan for 50 years - relied on the familiar tones of course commentator Ian Bartlett to paint his own picture of the dramatic action happening just yards away from his parade ring position.

“Here comes Paisley Park on the left in the spotted cap. He’s into fourth, he may be third in a moment,” said Bartlett, with the crowd urging Lavelle’s Ogbourne Maizey-trained 11/8 favourite on with the final flight approaching.

A blunder threatened to derail Gemmell’s celebrations, but jockey Aidan Coleman quickly grabbed a hold of the seven-year-old to land the £182,000 plus first prize ahead of Sam Spinner and former Irish Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen.

It was Paisley Park’s fifth win out of five this season, having already raced clear of his rivals in two handicaps at Aintree and Haydock before landing the JLT Hurdle at Ascot and Cleeve Hurdle on Trials Day at HQ in January.

Gemmell promptly praised the work of stable hand Laura Scrivener following the win, and also thanked Lavelle, Barry Fenton (Emma’s husband) and the hard-working staff at Bonita Racing Stables for making his dream become reality.

He said: “Emma and Barry have been fantastic.

“And Laura (Scrivener) who looks after the horse and brings him racing has done a wonderful job, she has been instrumental in looking after him.

“Aidan Coleman too, he is a top jockey and suits the horse down to the ground.”

Days of bunking off college to attend Cheltenham’s then three-day meeting seem a far cry from the owner’s current status in the sport.

His story captured the imagination of those in attendance, forming a large part of a day where racing hit the front page headlines after Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win a Grade One festival race when guiding Frodon to victory in the Ryanair Chase less than an hour before.

Gemmell added: “I was nervous, we were in the parade ring getting ready for the race and 3.30pm soon ticked by.

“I’m used to the way he runs, I knew he would hit a flat spot at some point.

“But then he came with a marvellous run. There was a slight scare at the last, but after that it was just wonderful.

“It was full-on afterwards, it was great fun.”

A quick appearance at Aintree has been ruled out by Lavelle following last week’s success.

But running in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown on May 2 remains a possibility.

She said: “He’s in great order, but Aintree will come too soon. It’s too close to Cheltenham.

“We’ll see what happens whether we go to Punchestown or not. He’s had a great year. He’s only seven years old.”