Aidan O'Brien Set To Base Staff In Newmarket Amid Travel Fears

Aidan O'Brien

World's leading flat trainer Aidan O'Brien could be setting up a team of staff in Newmarket ahead of the flat season this year, amid fears that coronavirus and the related travel restrictions could be a huge hinderance in racing his horses in Britain this term.

The first major event of the calendar season on the flat is the Guineas meeting at Newmarket and with O'Brien, as ever set to send a strong team over to flat racing HQ, he is weighing up the logistical challenge.

The Ballydoyle maestro stationed stable staff in a house in Newmarket last season to be able to continue to have runners within England and it worked out when landing events like the Dewhurst Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks.

O'Brien is very much thinking about doing the same with some of his staff this season and if needing to sending horses and stable staff over in advance of races to allow them time to quarantine if necessary.

Another big pressure on trainers willing to travel over to England this season to race is Brexit and how that will affect runners in the big races during the season, but O'Brien is hoping this can be cleared up before the Guineas meeting on May1st.

Credit Racing Post: "We're lucky as Cheltenham will happen and have to be sorted before things come our way. Like all these things, they're all slow at the start, and it's always messy and stressful on everyone.

"I think everyone knows where we all want to get and it usually gets sorted. Hopefully come Guineas time it'll all be a bit more straightforward.

"We all have to do what we have to do to keep the whole thing going. Everyone has to make adjustments on every side and we all want the same result. We need to be able to compete for the good of racing all over Europe."

He added: "There could be a new quarantine rule coming in where you need to be there [in Britain] one or two weeks before. If that's the case then it'd be like [for us] Australia, where we sent people down, do their two weeks quarantine and they stay there then.

"We had a team at Newmarket last year. Wherever the racing was the lads would put them on a plane and the team would pick them up over there. I suppose something like that would happen. I hope we'd be able to be there to do that and it'd be great if we could."