KIM BAILEY has his team bang in form at the Jumps season reaches its peak and with six winners from 23 runners in the past fortnight he clearly is a trainer to follow.
Knockanrawley went close to giving him a big success when runner-up in Saturday's Eider Chase and he will be looking to The Last Samuri to repeat his victory in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on Saturday before his stable flagbearer looks to go one better in the Grand National.
Bailey has already amassed 32 winners this season and with the likes of Another Venture, Charbel, Dueling Banjos, stable stalwart Harry Topper and Younevercall, to name but a few, he should soon be winning past his total of 43 for the 2015-2016 Jumps season.
Kim has plenty of other untapped talent in his Andoversford stables and spoke enthusiastically to Tony Elves of At The Races, about his hopes for the Spring campaign ahead.
6 b g Authorized - Azalee
131 rated hurdler. Tailed off at Chepstow on Saturday but previously runner-up, beaten only a length and a quarter, to Three Ways at Doncaster (3m 1/2f) earlier in the month off a mark of 125.
"He has been a most unlucky horse this season and been second twice and both times he was unfortunate not to win. Sadly, a result of finishing second he has gone up in the handicap which hasn't helped him. He is rated 131 when he ran at Chepstow but was disappointing there."
6 b g Presenting - Water Rock
121 rated hurdler. Finished runner-up, beaten three and three quarter lengths, to Another Frontier off a mark of 119 in a handicap hurdle at Taunton (3m) this month.
"Again, he is a horse who has finished second in his last two races and both times he should have won. I think he is progressive and he will be a better horse over fences when he learns to settle. All being well he should win a handicap hurdle this season."
6 ch g Stowaway - Hard Luck
127 rated hurdler. Scored by two lengths from Mixchievous in a novice handicap hurdle at Sandown (2m 4f) this month off a mark of 120.
"He won nicely at Sandown and the form has been franked with the third horse coming out and winning there recently. He will possibly go back to Sandown next week for a handicap on the Friday and if not the EBF Final on the Saturday. A lot will depend on what the handicapper does. Whatever he does this season will be a bonus as he is going to be a really nice chaser next season."
6 b m Vinnie Roe - On Good Advise
117 rated hurdler. Pulled up in a handicap hurdle at Exeter (2m 2 1/2f) last Friday and better effort previously in similar event at Ludlow (2m 5 1/2f) in January when third beaten, two lengths, to Tara Mist off a mark of 115
"She disappointed us at Exeter on Friday but will be winning races and she did well when finishing third to Tara Mist at Ludlow. She will go back to Ludlow again and a trip and good ground suit her. She should win again before the end of the season."
6 b g Shirocco - Azur
117 rated hurdler. Completed a hat trick in the space of ten days when beating Flobury 26 lengths off a mark of 103 at Towcester (2m 3f) this month.
"He has won his last three starts and the handicapper is obviously going to catch up with him. I don't often run horse three times in a week but he is a very idle horse and doesn't show anything at home. He could win again but he jumps very well and will go chasing next season."
7 b g Marienbard - Oscartrainer
99 rated hurdler. Off the mark with a short head victory from Steel River in a handicap hurdle at Ffos Las (2m 4f) this month.
"He won at Ffos Las recently and just held on. He ran well in his first two races and he is what he is. He was sick as a parrot when he came back form Bangor and there must have been something wrong with him. The handicapper has taken no chance with him and he won by a short head at Ffos Las but we will see what the handicapper does with him.
4 b g Dansili - Zante
Winner of his only bumper at Lingfield in December.
"He won a bumper at Lingfield and goes for another bumper at either Huntingdon or Southwell. He is a nice horse who I like and he has stacks of ability - he is more than capable of winning under a penalty."
BOY IN A BENTLEY
7 b g Kafy Tara - All Our Blessings
107 rated chase and hurdler. Well beaten in a novice handicap chase at Huntingdon (2m 4f) on Boxing Day off a mark of 110.
"He has been a frustrating horse and he will go back over hurdles. Hopefully, he will win a race."
BY THE BOARDWALK
9 br g Presenting - Peripheral Vision
125 rated chaser. Last success in a handicap chase at Market Rasen (3m) in October off a mark of 120.
"He is a Summer horse who has just come back in after a Winter break. His handicap mark means everything to him."
4 b g Martaline - Aisyacall
"He is a nice horse by Martaline who is going to run in a bumper shortly. He is unraced and is nice looking horse."
6 b g Iffraaj - Eoz
147 rated chaser. Scored by three quarters of a length from Le Prezien in a Novices Chase at Uttoxeter (2m) in October and runner-up, beaten only six lengths, to Altior in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown (1m 7 12/f) in December on his only subsequent start.
"He will go to Cheltenham - as yet I am not sure whether he goes for the JLT or the Arkle. We will hang on until the last minute and a lot depends on what Altior does. I don't really want to go two and a half miles as he has never been over the trip as yet but I know we can't beat Altior but we still have a couple of weeks left."
4 b f Kap Rock - Kruscyna
Easy winner of her bumper at Warwick last Friday.
"She is a nice filly who won her bumper very nicely at Warwick. She can only improve for that and is certainly one to follow."
7 gr g Proclamation - Kayf Lady
130 rated chaser. Runner-up, beaten only a length and a quarter, to Bells 'N' Banjos in a novice handicap chase at Leicester (2m 6 1/2f) this month off a mark of 127.
"He has been unlucky this season and I don't take a horse first time out to a novice handicap chase at Ascot but he had done everything right at home and we thought he was capable of doing it. He had a crunching fall at the first and I have to half of it was that he was looking at the car next to the fence. He does jump well but it shook his confidence a bit and he took awhile to get over it. He ran well at Leicester last time and he was probably unlucky not to win. He jumped well and he must surely win a race and will hopefully step up from that performance."
6 ch g Flemensfirth - Feel The Pride
Runner twice over hurdle and third, beaten 12 ½ lengths, to Forza Milan in a maiden hurdle at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f) on Saturday.
"He finished fourth on his first run in a novice hurdle recently and ran another promising race when third at Chepstow on Saturday he looks the type to go on improving and win a hurdle race but he is a chaser for next season and something to look forward too."
10 b g Sir Harry Lewis - Indeed To Goodness
144 rated chaser. Finished fourth, beaten five and a quarter lengths, to Perfect Candidate in a Veterans Handicap Chase at Exeter (3m) this month off his current mark.
"I was thrilled with his run the other day and furious that the ground wasn't as soft as he wanted. It showed he has to have bottomless ground and to finish as close a he did I simply don't know. He is as slow as a hearse and has to have bottomless ground. There is a really decent handicap in him and he will be aimed at another Veterans Race or he could go for the Irish National or something like that but is so ground dependent."
JIMMY THE JETPLANE
9 b g Jimble - C'Est Cool
137 rated chaser. Last win in a novice handicap chase at Sedgefield (3m 2 1/2f) in October when beating Tickenwolf three lengths off a mark of 135.
"He has had a Winter break and is coming back for a Summer campaign. You can forget his last run - he was desperately wrong and he may be too high in the handicap but on fast ground he is capable of winning again."
9 gr g Portrait Gallery - Hot Lips
133 rated chaser. Runner-up, beaten four lengths to Mysteree in the Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle (4m 1/2f) on Saturday off his current mark.
"He ran in the Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturdy and ran a cracking race to finish second. He needs soft ground and we will look for similar long distance chases for him."
7 br g Laveron - Vale of Honor
Winner of a bumper at Huntingdon in March of last year and promise on his only start over hurdles at Ascot (2m 5 1/2f) in November.
"He won a bumper last year and after having a run at Ascot he came back and we operated on his wind. He has just come back but he is a nice horse with a future over fences."
5 b g Muhayim - Gastinaise
Winner of a bumper at Wetherby in February and fourth under penalty in a similar event at Southwell on Saturday.
"He won a bumper at Wetherby and ran well in another one at Southwell at the weekend. He is a fun horse and he is going to make a nice novice hurdler next season."
7 b g Marienbard - Rare Dollar
Winner of bumpers at Stratford and Fontwell in 2015 and promising fifth to North Hill Harvey in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in December off that year
"He is a horse that is new to me and has won a couple of bumpers and had a run over hurdles. He will have a run early March and won't run before for the simple reason if he goes and wins a race he will only be a novice for a short period of time. I like him and I think he's a fun horse to play around with."
7 b g Redback - Massalia
142 rated chaser. Best effort this term when beaten half a length by Roman Flight in a handicap chase at Newbury (2m 4f) off his current mark."
"He is slightly ground dependent over two and a half miles and need it good or soft ground over two miles. He was seriously unlucky not to win at Newbury and the ground was against him the other day at Wetherby. He looked like he was going to run a very big race at two miles and it two and a half miles he didn't get home in the ground. He is going to be entered up at Warwick and we will see what the ground is like. There is a decent handicap in him between now and the end of the season."
ROBIN THE RAVEN
5 b g Robin Des Pres - Omyn Supreme
Winner of a bumper at Towcester in November.
"He goes to the Cheltenham bumper. He has been second in two bumpers and won on and he is a progressive young horse. I don't think he is good enough to win at Cheltenham but he might be placed or finish close up. He will go jumping through the Summer and will win a stack of races then."
6 b g Westerner - Fiddlers Bar.
117 rated hurder. Successful in a handicap hurdle at Doncaster (3m 1/2f) last week when beating Some Kinda Lama three quarters of a length.
"He won nicely at Doncaster on Wednesday in a handicap hurdle. I thought he is just coming right and hasn't been the easiest horse to train. He is very light framed and we will see what the handicapper does but hopefully he can go on from this."
6 b g Beneficial - Slaney Athlete
115 rated hurdler. Winner of a bumper at Sedgfield in April and a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter (2m 4f) in May when beating Western Sunrise two and a quarter lengths,
"He won a bumper and his first hurdle race. He has been hugely disappointing since then but has to have the ground like a road and I'm sure that's the reason why. He won't run until the Spring and has handicap rated of 115 and will hopefully win off that."
6 b m Saint Des Saints - Lady Pauline
130 rated hurdler. Still in the lead when stumbling and unseating rider in a handicap hurdle at Exeter (2m 2 1/2f) last Friday.
"She ran over hurdles at Exeter last week and still have every chance when unseating her rider at the second last. She is not the biggest which doesn't make like easy for her and is 130 rated which will make life difficult wherever she goes really. However, she is certainly capable of winning an ordinary mares handicap hurdle."
5 gr g Kafy Tara - Silver Spinner
Runner-up at Ascot in November in his second bumper.
"He ran well when second first time out at Ascot and ran there again and disappointed but came back coughing. He goes to Newbury for the Doncaster Sales race in March and ran fifth there last year and will improve on that for this year's experience."
7 b g Presenting - Sonne Cinq
117 rated chaser. Scored by four lengths from Vexillum in a handicap chase at Market Rasen (2m 5 1/2f) in September off a mark of 109.
"He is a top of the ground horse who won a couple of races early on. He has come back from his Winter break a far better horse and I like him. He is a horse who is still a novice until the end of the season and I am sure he has the ability to win a nice race. He jumps very well."
8 b g Heron Island - Gravinis
100 rated chase. Finished third, beaten 17 lengths, to Crown Hill in a Novices Handicap Chase at Leicester (2m) this month off a mark of 101.
"He is just one of those unlucky horses and he is going to be second, second, third wherever he goes. He will most likely go over hurdles to give him a bit more encouragement."
THE LAST SAMURI
9 ch g Flemensfirth - Howaboutthis
161 rated chaser. Scored by ten lengths from The Druids Nephew in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster (3m 2f) in March of last year off a mark of 149 and went onto finish runner-up in the Aintree Grand National (4 m 2 1/2f) the following month. Finished third, beaten a length, to Vieux Lion Rouge in the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree (3m 2f) in December off a mark of 159.
"I am delighted with him and he goes to Doncaster and then straight for the Grand National. Everybody knows about him and he won the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster last year."
THUMB STONE BLUES
7 b g High Chaparral - Jade River
125 rated hurdler. Seven length winner from Vancouver in a maiden hurdle at Sedgefield (2m 5f) in December and runner-up, beaten 11 length, to Justforjames at that course (2m 4f) on Boxing Day.
"He won first time out at Sedgefield and went back there again but couldn't handle the ground. I like him and he's a good ground horse. He does run at Doncaster the same day as The Last Samuri."
9 b g Voix Du Nord - First Ball
137 rated chaser. Finished sixth, beaten 15 lengths, to Theatre Guide off a mark of 140 in a Grade 3 Handicap Chase Cheltenham (3m 2f) in December.
"Goes back for his fourth attempt to win a race at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He has come down the handicap a bit and he will go for the Brown Advisory & Merriebell Handicap Chase. I think he is a nice horse and capable of running a big race when he gets there."
6 b g Yeats - Afarka
143 rated hurdler. Winner of his only start this season in a handicap hurdle at Kempton (2m 5f) in November when beating Duke Street two and three quarter lengths of a mark of 135.
"He had a hairline fracture after he won at Kempton and he goes to Punchestown."
ANOTHER VENTURE - progressive sort who can win more handicap hurdles before doing likewise over fences.
BLAZON - Juddmonte-bred individual who has a bright future.
CHARBEL - unlikely to prove a match for Altior in the Arkle but lovely two mile chaser who can win plenty more races.
DIVA RECONCE - look green when impressive winner of her bumper at Warwick last week and plenty more to offer.
KNOCKANRAWLEY - game effort in the Eider Chase and can go one better in similar event soon.
THE LAST SAMURI - his National preparation continues at Doncaster on Saturday and looks a likely sort for repeat success on the Town Moor.