With uncertainty arising from the shutdown of racing in March, and the knowledge that owners were paying training fees with no prospect of seeing their horses on the racetrack, communication led to agreements being reached with owners to give most of the horses the yard a holiday. This minimised the financial burden of having horses in full training and it was only when we had a degree of confidence in racing restarting that full training was resumed.
A reality of training, however, is that horses take some time to build back up to race fitness and some also need a run to sharpen them up to a level where they can showcase their full level of ability. The shutdown of racing left us in an unusual position where all the horses were returning from a break at the same time and the results in the first couple of weeks of resumption probably reflected that, so it was a relief when we started to see horses who had now had the benefit of that return race getting back on the course for their second run.
One such horse was Man Of The Sea who had his second run back ran at Chepstow last Friday. Owned by Dajam Ltd, the business of Mike Burbidge who is a huge supporter of the yard, it was fitting that he provided us with our first winner since resumption and the 28-1 starting price was especially welcome to anyone who had kept the faith and had a few quid each-way on him. It was a first ride for the stable for George Rooke and he now has a 100% strike rate for the yard!
Like the proverbial buses, you wait a couple of weeks for a winner and then two come along at once and that proved to be the case at our local track Bath on Saturday. This time it was Liam Keniry who has ridden many winners for the yard in recent seasons who was on board to pilot Hidden Depths to victory in the last race.
You would have thought that it would be too much to ask for us to make it three winners in three days, but that is exactly what happened when Glengar became the first National Hunt winner for the stable winning the first race at Southwell on Sunday under Robbie Dunne.
It is great to see the horses coming on from their reappearance runs and getting fitter every day and we are all looking forward to recording further winners in the coming weeks.