InterviewKim Bailey

'I'm older and the hangover came quicker - but the elation is still as strong as ever'

Kim Bailey talks to Peter Thomas about getting back on the Cheltenham scoresheet 29 years after his big double

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Peter ThomasSenior features writer
Kim Bailey, always remembering the good times, at Thorndale Farm
Kim Bailey, always remembering the good times, at Thorndale FarmCredit: Edward Whitaker

For those of you who remember the Cheltenham Festival when Alderbrook and Master Oats both won, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you're knocking on a bit. Kim Bailey, who trained the mighty beasts to win the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup that season, is looking in pretty good fettle for his 70 years on this earth, but even he has to confess that nobody is surprised anymore when he opens his wallet and takes out his senior citizens railcard.

Back in 1995, in the middle of his youthful Lambourn years, the celebrations of that memorable double were intense and protracted, but 29 years have sneaked by since then, and we could all be forgiven for setting a slightly more sedate pace. The good thing is that Bailey at least got the chance to test his residual levels of endurance, having proved this month that he was old enough to get a third off national off-peak train travel but also young enough to bag himself another festival winner at a time when competition is at its fiercest.

Perhaps it wasn't full-throttle stuff on the night after Chianti Classico had won the Ultima Handicap Chase – Kim and his wife Clare had already accepted an invitation to a 67th birthday party, after all – but our man still managed to raise a fair gallop, even if the consequences were predictably unwelcome.

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Published on 24 March 2024inInterviews

Last updated 16:45, 25 March 2024