Cambridge trainer Kyle Marshall is looking forward to potentially having two runners at his home meeting next week, and he has a local equestrian to thank for it.
During the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, Marshall was unable to work any of his horses at Cambridge Raceway, however, he was able to utilise the services of local rider Elle Phillips.
“I sent Elle Phillips, of Phillips Equine, three horses to keep ticking over - Pembrook Charlie, Itsthefinalcountdown, and Lukyanova,” Marshall said.
“She just rides them out there. It’s different scenery and it really picked them up.
“They have done really well out there, so I will look to send her more horses every now and then for a freshen-up.”
Marshall also utilised the services of a local water-walker to keep Flying Monkey fit during lockdown, and he will be looking to line him up at the Cambridge workouts this Saturday, along with Pembrook Charlie.
“Flying Monkey was out at the water-walker,” Marshall said. “He was doing a bit before that, so I should have two to the workouts this week and just see how they go and whether I line them up on the 31st (at Cambridge Raceway).”
The change in training routine has done wonders for the pair, according to Marshall.
“Pembrook Charlie is a different horse since he had a freshen-up at Elle Phillips’ and Flying Monkey had a few soundness problems, but he is fine now,” Marshall said.
Considering the short turnaround time, Marshall is happy to have an initial racing team of four over the winter and is eyeing the new season as a realistic raceday return for the rest of his 15-strong team.
“Lukyanova and Itsthefinalcountdown, they won’t be too far away, but the rest of the team probably won’t be back until next season,” he said.
Marshall has posted nine wins in his second term of training and said his team was flying before the COVID-19 pandemic put an untimely end to many of his team’s season.
“I was really happy with how the team was going,” Marshall said. “Before lockdown happened we had five horses race on the Thursday and Friday, for a win and four placings. So things were starting to go well and then we had a world pandemic.”
While the timing of the lockdown was unfortunate for his team, Marshall said he is happy to be back into the swing of things and he is looking forward to getting back to the races next week.
“I am just happy to get things back on track and getting back to the races,” he said. – Harness News Desk