Bailey thrilled with ‘extraordinary’ Grimthorpe performance of Does He Know

By Sports Desk March 02, 2024

Does He Know put up a tremendous weight-carrying performance to provide trainer Kim Bailey with a third victory in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster.

Although a four-time winner over fences, including Grade Two and Grade Three triumphs at Ascot and Cheltenham respectively, Does He Know was a 20-1 shot for his latest assignment having failed to trouble the judge in three previous starts this season.

The nine-year-old also had the burden of 12st on his back and had to concede upwards of 11lb to each of his nine rivals, but bounced back to his best under a buccaneering ride from David Bass.

The three-mile-two-furlong contest was not for the faint hearted, with eight of the 10 runners failing to complete the course.

Some Scope, the 3-1 favourite to complete his hat-trick following recent wins at Catterick and at this track, looked to have been delivered with a perfectly-timed challenge halfway up the home straight by Gavin Sheehan, but try as he might he was unable to reel in Does He Know, who stuck to his guns to claim top honours by just over three lengths.

Bailey, who has previously won the Grimthorpe with Shraden Leader in 1994 and The Last Samuri in 2016, said: “We very much hoped he would do that. He was the best horse in the race, the rain definitely helped us and we were very hopeful he would run a smashing race.

“He’s got some very good form. He’s a very hard horse to place and we’ve run him in two races this season we knew he had no chance in but there weren’t any alternatives.

“It has always been the plan to run in this race and it was unbelievably good performance with 12st on his back in that ground, it was extraordinary.

“I’m really pleased for the owners and everybody involved because we’ve had a shocking old winter really. The horses haven’t been wrong, but we’ve got very few horses that go in this ground.”

Does He Know holds an entry in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter in a fortnight’s time, but will not take up that engagement.

“He won’t go there, definitely not. He doesn’t have to run again this season, but if he does it will either be the Whitbread (bet365 Gold Cup) or the Scottish National, I would think,” Bailey added.

“He’s had a hard race today, so he’ll want a bit of time to get over that.”

Pinot Rouge (20-1) provided Northumberland-based trainer Susan Corbett with the most notable success of her training career so far in the Tips For Every Race At raceday-ready.com Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, narrowly outpointing Irish raider Ottizzini by half a length under Edward Austin.

Corbett said: “I hoped we’d be in the first half of the field because although she’s not got a lot of speed, she grinds away and loves the soft ground.

“On her first run for us she was flying home when she was third and while she’s doesn’t show that at home, the boys that ride her say when you ask her she gives a little bit more.

“If we’d been third today I would have been delighted, so to finish first I’m somewhere on the ceiling I think! We’ve never won a Listed race before or anything near it, so the whole team at home are thrilled to bits.

“She’ll probably have a little break and if the ground is still like it is now in say four weeks she’ll run again, if not we’ll put away because I think novice chasing will be her game next season.”

Homme Public was a 3-1 winner of the Free Digital Racecard At raceday-ready.com Handicap Chase for the formidable training partnership of Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero, while Curley Finger (2-1 favourite) denied stablemate Floueur by a diminishing nose when leading home a one-two for trainer Rebecca Menzies in the Download The Raceday Ready App Handicap Hurdle.

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