Huntingdon preview: Vinndication aiming to secure Festival spot

Wed 7 Feb 2018

Click here for the runners, riders, form and latest odds for the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon.

By staff

Kim Bailey's Vinndication could book his ticket to the spring festivals with a good display in Thursday's Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon.

Unbeaten in a bumper and two novice hurdles to date, Vinndication looks a promising recruit to go with stablemates First Flow and Red River, already winners of notable races this season.

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He faces a slight drop in trip from his last race at Ascot, where he beat the highly-regarded Champ, but Bailey says that is partly by design.

"We've dropped him in trip slightly on purpose. Firstly there were no other suitable races, but also because I think it is very important that he learns more about racing, he needs to cop on a bit," said Bailey.

"He'll run well and this will tell us what we will do with him.

"I think Aintree will be where he'll possibly end up, but he's got Cheltenham entries.

"We've got some nice novices this year, First Flow has got Cheltenham entries too but will only go if it's soft. I can't see it so we'll just see if a suitable race comes up.

"Red River will be going to Cheltenham after his win at Musselburgh, though."

Dell Oro, trained by Gary Moore, finished 20 lengths behind First Flow at Newbury and now has a crack at his stable companion.

Ben Pauling, back among the winners this week, runs Equus Secretus, with Harry Fry's Mr One More and the Stuart Edmunds-trained Theclockisticking other promising youngsters lining up.

Warren Greatrex's Western Ryder, who performed admirably in both the Cheltenham and Aintree bumpers last spring, will be looking to bounce back from a poor run in the Tolworth Hurdle on bad ground.

"He definitely didn't run his race there. Richard Johnson and myself think it was definitely the ground," said Greatrex. "You will see a much better horse on better ground. He is in great form and has done well since then.

"I think we will get Thursday out of the way and make a decision nearer the time (on Cheltenham), but both are possibilities (Supreme and Ballymore)."

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