Oli Bell chats to Michael Bell about life in Newmarket during the shutdown

Trainer Michael Bell

The series continues as Oli Bell catches up with leading Newmarket trainer Michael Bell to see how he's coping with the shutdown.

Michael Bell on life as a trainer during the shutdown

"The horses are all in good shape in Newmarket, they all look very forward and it's been a mild spring but obviously trainers are just having to scale back on the fitness levels and that's going to be a challenge, we don't quite know yet when we're getting horses ready for and have to get the timings right.

"The Heath is open as normal and from a social distancing point of view, when they are riding out, they are six feet apart. It's more difficult and needs more organising when staff are in places such as the tack room collecting equipment but we're on top of it.

"Generally we are almost carrying on as normal and it's frustrating more than anything else that we can't race at the moment. France hope to get going again in the middle of April and Ireland are looking to get re-started as soon as they can. The dream is we can get racing in Britain at the end of April, god willing, but no-one knows and we have to wait for the time to be right and safe to do so.

"When we do get back under way two horses to follow from the stable are Formality, who ran an eye-catching race on debut at Newmarket and is a lovely big colt by Frankel. We rate him.

"Sparkling Olly is a Gleneagles filly who has a similar profile to her stablemate and ran well on debut too. Hopefully she'll be a nice middle-distance horse in the future."

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