Starting life as a trainer during a pandemic
Kicking off a training career can be very challenging, nevermind in the midst of a pandemic. James Ferguson, however, has hit the ground running.
"As a new trainer, getting your horses running consistently well is the most important thing and, luckily, we have been able to manage that".
Arabian King was a nice early flag-bearer for the yard, racking up three wins on the bounce before lockdown enforced a ten-week abstinence from racing.
For a fledgling trainer enjoying early success in his career, many would not have blamed Ferguson for bemoaning that break in the calendar, but the Newmarket-based trainer is a beacon of positivity.
“My staff and my team, including my brother, Alex, have done an amazing job and perhaps the break benefitted a few of my horses.
"Of the older horses, only one or two have missed the beat but most of them would only really be ready about now".
Ferguson thankful for loyal and patient owners
One of the biggest tasks for new trainers is getting the owners to back you to ensure you have a steady flow of good horses coming into the yard. Ferguson is hugely thankful of the current group that have stuck with him during a tricky period for everyone.
"The patience of the owners has been outstanding. They are the ones paying the bills and they were paying without having any runners, so huge gratitude must go to them and it is great to see their investments running so well".
That patience is in no small part to his team’s shrewd eye at the sales.
"Awesomedude has been fantastic for us, it is not often that you buy a horse from the horses in training sales who then goes on to win four on the bounce."
If Zoetic runs her race then don't be surprised to see her win
On Sunday, Ferguson has declared Zoetic for the St. Hugh's Fillies' Stakes at Newbury where again the team will be looking for Listed success. "She finished third twice over 6f at the start of her career, then we dropped her back to five. She came second in a very hot maiden at Sandown to Miss Jingles who then went on to win at Goodwood. I have no worries about taking her on again."
More recently, she put in a very gutsy performance at Wolverhampton on a surface which Ferguson admits was not to her liking.
Despite running four times in a short space of time, the team appear to be very happy where they are regarding the daughter of Kodiac.
"The owners are very happy to be sending her to Newbury and fingers crossed she can run her race to win and come away with black type."
Ferguson is very much taking all his horses race-by-race. It is difficult enough to plan a campaign for any horse but they will look at Sunday's performance before making a decision on where she could go next.