On Kim Bailey’s 68th birthday, we take a look at one of his most recent big race victories, in the form of the Betway Handicap Chase at the Aintree Festival.
The Cotswolds trainer had not landed a major success at the Merseyside track since 1994, after landing a third consecutive success in the Martell Cup Chase (now known as the Betway Bowl) with Docklands Express.
However, the 27-year-wait came to an end back in April with progressive chaser Happygolucky landing his third win of the season over fences.
The son of Jeremy had finished runner-up in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival three weeks previously and won two novices’ chases over the winter months.
The seven-year-old went off as 11/4 favourite for the contest and looked comfortable throughout, stalking the leaders and waiting to strike.
The gelding pushed easily ahead of Johnbb at two out and was shaken up by jockey David Bass before the last.
Happygolucky responded gamely, leaping slickly over the final fence before pulling clear in the run-in to win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Bailey noted his Grand National hopes for his runner after the race when speaking to the Racing Post.
“It would be nice if he could come back this time next year – an hour later.
“He could progress. He jumps so well and he’s a professional little racehorse.
“He wouldn’t be the biggest but he’s a very athletic individual, the way he jumps and handles himself is extraordinary.”
DID YOU KNOW? Kim Bailey landed a Champion Hurdle-Gold Cup double at the 1995 Cheltenham Festival with Alderbrook and Master Oats.