Bailey looking to Ascot with Two For Gold

Seven-year-old making his mark over fences.

  • Sunday 02 February
  • News
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Two For Gold could bid to extend his unbeaten record over fences in the Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot before a potential trip to the Cheltenham Festival.

The Grade Two contest is one of two races at the track on February 15, along with the Listed Keltbray Swinley Chase, being considered for the seven-year-old by trainer Kim Bailey.

Two For Gold completed a hat-trick of wins over fences on his most recent start when following up victories at Carlisle and Kelso in the recently-upgraded Grade Two Hampton Novices’ Chase at Warwick.

Bailey said: “We will look at the Reynoldstown, but there is also a £75,000 Listed handicap there as well, so there is a possibility we might look at that.

“We will see what the conditions are like and make a decision whether we run there or wait for Cheltenham or do both.

“He has got an entry in the RSA and National Hunt Chase. If he was to go and win the Reynoldstown, should we go there, then the RSA becomes the obvious target.

“If he misses Ascot the chances are he would go for the National Hunt Chase, for the simple reason is that it wouldn’t be as competitive.”

Bailey is confident Vinndication, who has not run since making a winning return to action in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot in November, will be back in time to contest the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival

He said: “Vinndication is cantering and seems very well and I’m happy with him. He won’t run between now and Cheltenham. The chances are he will end up going to Cheltenham and he will have an entry in the Ultima.

“He probably hasn’t missed anything being off and as he is only a young horse and it has given him more time to mature.

“If we keep drifting away he is a slightly forgotten horse, which is a nice situation to be in.”

Imperial Aura will be aimed at the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Festival over the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate after going up to a mark of 143 following his latest second at the track behind Simply The Betts.

He said: “Imperial Aura will be entered in the Plate, but I’d say he is most probably likely to go for the Close Brothers as he is still qualified for that off his new mark.

“I thought he ran very well and the ground was probably too soft for him. He is a good ground horse and that was borderline being heavy so it was very tiring ground.

“We went into the race with the worry that some of our horses weren’t quite right but it was pleasing from everyone’s point of view to see him run as well as he did. ”

Though Imperial Aura made it back-to-back defeats at Cheltenham on his latest start Bailey believes there was plenty of positives to take from the result.

He said: “He galloped round in front at Fakenham on his own and when he ran against Pym as there was basically only three in the race as one refused to race and the other unseated.

“For him to go to Cheltenham and be among other horses having to jump when nearly blind was a good test as far as the future concerned.”

Bailey looking to Ascot with Two For Gold
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