IT’S onwards and upwards for the syndicate-owned Vinndication.
The six-year-old has Kim Bailey and the ‘Moremoneythan’ owners group dreaming big after he put on a show in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot.
Backed off the boards into the 2-1 jolly before the off, jockey David Bass took no chances and kept Vinndication up top with Go Conquer throughout the three mile Grade 3 Handicap.
It was a proper gallop from the off but Bass and his partner were near foot perfect over the fences as one-by-one his rivals toiled in behind.
Entering the home straight, four remained in contention with Anthony Honeyball’s Regal Encore running a huge race despite a horror jump two out.
He edged out the admirable Black Corton – running off 11’12 – into second and Honeyball has his sights on the Ladbrokes Trophy now.
But it’s Gold Cups and the like that Bailey has on his mind for the improved Vinndication who relished the step up to three miles on his seasonal reappearance.
Bailey smiled: “We think he’s a grand horse and we have big hopes for him, so he needs to be winning races like this off 151.
“I suddenly woke up a few days ago and thought there’s no point going to Wetherby or Carlisle as if he’s as good as we think he is, he was thrown in!
“He’s had another wind-op and that’s definitely improved him. We were disappointed at Sandown last year and Cheltenham was one outing too many so it’s good to have him back like this as we were very hopeful ahead of today.”
There was no doubting his stamina as he flew over the last like a horse going places and certainly not a tired one.
Bailey added: “He’s had sore shins since he was a baby but hopefully he’s over those now. We went from bumpers to novice hurdles in one season and with hindsight we would not do that again.
“His jumping was spot on here, it was something to watch. We’re thinking races like the Gold Cup in the long-term and why that’s a way off still we’re on the right path.
“We need to see a bit more improvement yet but he’s such a lovely horse to have in the yard and the talent is there.”