After a blank week for the Jumps calendar, Kim Bailey maintained the fabulous form of Andoversford stables at today's rearranged fixture at Warwick with a double to warm the heart in the milder weather.
Bottomless the going may be, but credit is due to Warwick for an excllent fixture which incliudes Festival clues and a £30,000 handicap chase. Now that's something you don't see too often except on days of the week beginning in S.
Two For Gold held on by a neck in a terrific finish against Aso, for whom these conditions are right up his street. He has an admirable record of 8 victories in 15 races which has taken his owners to Kelso, Carlisle, Bangor, Doncaster and Wetherby in pursuit of riches.
The Bailey bandwaggon rolled on to wrap up the concluding bumper too with smart new recruit Kyntara, who made the race a procession. This is a horse to take note of, especially when obstacles are in the way. Bailey is enjoying his best season since 2015-16, and in this form, it would take a brave man to bet against him beating his personal best in 1994-5 when 72 winners earned £696,951. Any success at Cheltenham or Aintree would put him right there, and he goes there with the strongest team in years.
Despite Dan Skelton's success in the Kingmaker Chase, the day belonged to Gloucestershire, with Nigel Twiston-Davies scopping up the handicap hurdle with Ballymillsy.
This week's fixtures look more hopeful of beating the weather, giving a valuable opprtunity to any Foxhunter contender to gain last minute qualification in the final two weeks before entries close on March 2. Wishing and Hoping for Mel Rowley is one such headed for Catterick tomorrow.
Fixture 2021 Cancelled
Look out for 2022 dates later in the summer
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)