Long-range Goodwood plans for Kempton winner Bailarico

Big festivals at Aintree and Punchestown could also be in the mix

  • Saturday 12 January
  • News
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Warren Greatrex has big plans under both codes for Bailarico after he successfully defied a penalty to land the 32Red.com Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

A walkover winner at Leicester last month, the five-times Flat winner appeared to appreciate the step up to an extended three miles when defeating odds-on favourite Larkbarrow Lad by two and three-quarter lengths.

Greatrex said of the 9-1 winner: “He has got his own mind about the job. He is quite lazy, but I don’t mind if they win like that. He has got a lot of ability and he handled that ground.

“I know the guys would be really keen on going to Glorious Goodwood and that will be my target for the summer.

“I would not be surprised in time if we look at the spring festivals. He could be one for a jaunt to Punchestown or Aintree.”

Mercian Prince (9-4) moved a step closer to a return outing over the Grand National fences at Aintree when jumping his rivals into the ground in the Unibet Download The App Handicap Chase for the second year in succession.

Following what was an eased-down 17-length success, trainer Amy Murphy said: “We adore this horse as he was the horse that put us on the map and is a bit of a stable favourite.

“I always feel a bit sorry for him as he seems to get overshadowed by Kalashnikov.

“The aim was the Topham, we might have ruined his handicap mark for that, but around there it doesn’t matter. He jumped round in the Sefton like they were a lot of showjumps.

“That day it was heavy ground and it just caught him out after the (Melling) road.”

Vlannon showed he was not just there to make up the numbers as he fuelled dreams of an outing at the Cheltenham Festival in defeating hotpot Chaparral Prince by three-quarters of a length in the Unibet Juvenile Hurdle.

Part-owner Matt Gannon said of the Michael Madgwick-trained 20-1 scorer: “We were not expecting him to go and win the race in the manner he did, but we thought he was an unfair price.

“He has shown great promise all the way through and has done nothing wrong.

“It is the first horse myself and Hugh (Vlatas) have owned. It’s been money well spent and if we get to have a day at Cheltenham we will have a proper day out.

“His half-brother (Mr Adjudicator, second in last year’s Triumph Hurdle) did it and there is no reason he can’t do it.”

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