Kim Bailey aiming to reach half-century with season drawing to a close

Thu 25 Apr 2019

Kim Bailey moved within touching distance of recording 50 winners for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign after Robin The Raven claimed the feature contest at Warwick.

The Andoversford handler celebrated winner number 49 for the season as the seven-year-old defied a 318-day absence when making virtually all to take the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle by seven lengths.

Bailey said of the 7-1 winner: “He always been a nice horse, but last time he ran he had a fall at Worcester and had a bad time with a hind joint, we’ve just given him lots of time off.

“That race has probably fell apart, but having said that it was nice to go and see him enjoy it.”

The Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer will have three chances to hit the half-century before the season draws to a close at Sandown on Saturday.

He added: “We are on 49 and we have got to find one more winner between now and Saturday. I’ve got one in the bumper at Bangor on Friday that was second last time.

“I’ve got Charbel in the Grade Two chase at Sandown and Younevercall, who would nearly be favourite for the two-mile-five handicap hurdle there.”

Graeme McPherson ended his near two-month wait for a winner with a double, highlighted by a first victory in more than three years for Follow The Swallow (5-1) who ran out a five-length winner of the Local Parking Security Limited Handicap Chase.

McPherson said: “I’ve been waiting a while for a winner and two come along in a couple of hours.

“Follow The Swallow has not been running badly. He was just beaten at Market Rasen by one of Michael Chapman’s that came with a wet sail.

“We got beaten by a well-handicapped one at Ludlow and we fell at the last at Taunton when he was 12 lengths clear so he deserves the win.”

My Charity (6-4) got the ball rolling for McPherson when making it 13th time lucky with a two-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Hortons’ Estate Limited Maiden Hurdle.

Olly Murphy appears to have another exciting prospect on his hands after Overthetop (3-1) made his debut under rules a winning one in division one of the Tilney For Professionals Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Murphy said: “We dropped him in a long way, he had to come wide and I thought he’d got the worst run through the race but he still came out on top.

“He is a horse to look forward to. He will start over hurdles next season in a two-and-a-half-mile novice around somewhere like here.”

Ben Case ended the season on a winning note, with Stoner’s Choice (12-1) putting his previous experience to good use when defeating debutant Kemble’s Cascade by a length and a quarter in division two.

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Case said: “He just took a little time to get the hang of it at Market Rasen. We’ve always thought a lot of the horse and he has proven us right.

“He has got a great attitude. I ran him back sooner than I wanted to, but I was keen to get him out to grass rather than wait until the middle of May to give him another run.”

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