Kim: ‘Prob­a­bly the best lot we’ve had for a while’

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Sport -

WITH a team pos­sess­ing plenty of un­tapped po­ten­tial it is easy to see why trainer Kim Bai­ley is ex­cited about the sea­son ahead.

De­spite strug­gling with the harsh win­ter last sea­son, the An­dovers­ford han­dler still man­aged to ac­cu­mu­late 47 win­ners along with al­most £500,000 in prize money.

Given the be­lief Bai­ley has in his string, both those to­tals could eas­ily be beaten come the end of the cam­paign.

Bai­ley said: “I think, all things con­sid­ered, we did well last year as it was prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult I’ve had train­ing.

“I’m very ex­cited ev­ery sea­son, but this is prob­a­bly the best lot I’ve had for a while. I just hope they can have a good run and stay in­jury and virus free.” Bai­ley’s 5 to fol­low this sea­son:

■ First Flow

“He has been schooled over fences and that went very well. He went to War­wick for a school and we were happy with that.

“He was very im­pres­sive on heavy ground win­ning his Grade Two at Haydock.

“We didn’t ini­tially want to go to Chel­tenham as we wanted to go to Kelso, but that was aban­doned twice. It was then soft ground at Chel­tenham and the owner was very keen to go, un­der­stand­ably with the ground be­ing soft, but it turned out to be the wrong call.

“He is a horse that I would like to look at the Dublin Rac­ing Fes­ti­val with later on in the sea­son, if the ground was soft, as there are po­ten­tially a cou­ple of races there for him.”

■ Im­pe­rial Aura

“He won a bumper at Lud­low last year and I think he could be pretty pro­gres­sive. He is an­other that has done lots of school­ing and he ap­pears to jump very well. He will go out when the ground has rain on it.”

■ Red River

“I think Red River is as ex­cit­ing as any of them and is a horse that could run ear­lier than the likes of First Flow and Vin­ndi­ca­tion. We’ve al­ready schooled him and he is very good. I am ex­cited about him.

“He did it fair and square at Musselburgh, beat­ing Mr Whipped, but I don’t know how he didn’t fall at the sec­ond-last that day. He can’t re­ally go on heavy ground and the ground never re­ally suited af­ter­wards.

“He is a young horse and I wanted him around for more than a sea­son, so we de­cided to look af­ter him and stopped with him.

“Get­ting three miles is not a prob­lem for him.”

■ Two For Gold

“He is a nice horse that won two bumpers last sea­son and has done lots of school­ing al­ready and is a nice type for novice hur­dles.

“He was very green when he won at Don­caster, while he ran very well in de­feat the time be­fore at As­cot in

what was prob­a­bly the best bumper race of the sea­son.

“He was never meant to be a bumper horse, but we de­cided to put hur­dling on the back burner for the sea­son as he is very big.

“He is likely to have this sea­son over hur­dles, then go straight over fences. He is pretty ready to run and will ap­pear when a bit of rain gets into the ground.”

■ Vin­ndi­ca­tion

“He is a very nice horse and is a stronger horse than he was last year. He is an ex­cit­ing horse to go rac­ing with. He’s not schooled over fences, but the plan is to go novice chas­ing.

“He was just slightly a shade im­ma­ture last year and had sore shins be­fore Chel­tenham and that is the rea­son why he didn’t run at the Fes­ti­val. Sore shins is of­ten a young horse prob­lem, but he has been good now. It was a good rea­son to stop with him be­fore any prob­lems were caused.

“He will be ready to run when it is on the soft side of good, but we will take it step by step. He could start off over two and a half, it is about find­ing the right race with suit­able con­di­tions.

“It is dif­fi­cult to say if he is my best novice yet, as there are other horses I rate as highly.”

Race­horse trainer Kim Bai­ley

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