First Flow turned on the big winner tap for Foxcote's Kim Bailey in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon today after ducking a tilt at the Tingle Creek. The winner of the Clarence House Chase at Ascot this January just had the legs on Venetia Williams' Funambele Sivola over the closing stages to win by 4 1/2l, with Eldorado Allen, Mastertommytucker and Allmankind in arrears.
Thirteen months ago, Bailey was in unstoppable form with Graded winners in Does He Know and Imperial Aura, as well as El Presente in the Badger Beer Chase. The ascent up the Trainers' Championship table has been slower this time around, but the quality of the young horses awaiting a run in the right conditions augurs well for midwinter.
Hats off to Huntingdon too. So often the quality of racing on a Sunday is dire, in contrast to the Irish model, when all the best races are reserved for Sundays. To stage a £75,000 chase on the day of rest deserved a decent crowd.
Another Cotswold trainer enjoying big race success over the weekend was Charlie Longsdon, whose Snow Leopardess will allow him to dream of Grand National success next Spring after a gritty victory by a nose in the Becher Chase at Aintree. That she should run in the National is far from a certainty. Her owner, former rider turned broadcaster Alice Fox-Pitt is no fan of the big safety factor in the race, but if not, there will be other staying chases where she will be a force to be reckoned with.