GBI RACING

Kim Bailey has plenty of reason to relish campaign ahead

First Flow (left) could be a star in the making for Kim Bailey

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 has not schooled over fences yet, 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.”

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