Have Kim Bailey and David Bass won a Grade 1 race?
The short answer is yes, they have; just one, but a landmark victory all the same. In his heyday, Bailey won the Grand National with Mr. Frisk in 1991 and completed the Champion Hurdle – Cheltenham Gold Cup double with Alderbrook and Master Oats in 1995. However, prior to January 23, 2021, he had failed to win another Grade 1 race for 9,444 days, or nearly 26 years. Nevertheless, on that day, he saddled the 9-year-old First Flow, ridden by David Bass, to win the Clarence House Chase at Ascot and record the third Grade 1 victory of his training career.
Reflecting on his success, Bailey said, ‘I was absolutely staggered, to be honest, because we both felt the ground wasn’t going to be soft enough and that if he had finished third he would have done very well. I admit I didn’t expect him to improve like that.’
Winning jockey David Bass also had two previous Grade 1 wins to his name, the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December, 2015 on Barters Hill and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2017 on Willoughby Court, both trained by Ben Pauling. Bass, who was recently elected Jumps President of the Professional Jockeys’ Association (PJA), began his riding career with the late Richard Phillips, before moving to Nicky Henderson – for whom he won the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock on Eradicate, as a 7lb claimer – and subsequently striking up a fruitful association with Bailey.