After enduring an almost barren three weeks due to the weather, racehorse trainer Sarah Humphrey is hoping less frustrating times are on the horizon.
The only horse that the West Wratting-based trainer has seen race since a meeting at Chepstow on January 8 has been chaser Carpincho, and that was a bumper on the all weather track at Lingfield on January 17.
The testing times have, said Humphrey, been tough going for everyone, horses included, at her Yen Hall Farm stables.
She said: “It’s been very frustrating because at Christmas just about everything I entered was abandoned because they were waterlogged.
“I seemed to have an uncanny knack for entering meetings that were abandoned.
“Last week we should have been at Huntingdon and Doncaster and they were abandoned.
“Owners get very frustrated, horses get very frustrated. We were lucky that we only missed one time where we couldn’t get them out at all during the snow, we did at least manage to keep them ticking over.
“At least we could get them out to do some cantering.”
The snow may have gone, but the arrival of rainy weather to accompany the thaw has resulted in heavy going at many of the racecourses.
For that reason Humphrey has opted against entering any horses this week until the Sandown meeting on Saturday, when promising juvenile hurdler Vasco d’Ycy, a winner on the Hennessy Gold Cup card at Newbury in November, is scheduled to run.
She explained: “Nobody minds running on soft ground, but when it’s relentlessly heavy it is hard work for the horses and each race takes a lot out of them and you need a longer recovery time for them.”
The fact that the trainer has also had a lack of opportunities to give her stable of 24 horses many decent work outs in the past two weeks has also proved something of a handicap to race preparations.
The departure of the snow has at least given Humphrey - and the horse racing fraternity in general - more reason for optimism.
She said: “It makes everybody feels so much better to see green rather than white on the ground.
“Hopefully we will get back into the swing of things soon.”