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Stable Introduction and Life Since Resumption Of Racing

Part of a new segment for The Winners Enclosure we will be speaking to David O'Meara and his team ahead of the weekend, discussing his runners chances and how the stable is coping during this unprecedented time.

David O'Meara is a handler based in the North of England, more specifically at Willow Farm, Upper Helmsley, York and has primed himself at getting winners up and down the country.

With this season on the flat starting later than expected, it has been a strange period for everyone in the sport especially for trainers, but O'Meara and his assistant trainer Jason Kelly have been happy with how the yard have started this term.

Jason Kelly said: "In the first 10 days we have had 45 runners, four winners which is a decent return and puts us slightly ahead of our piers in the north.

"Our big positive so far has been our two year olds, we have been thrilled with how they have been running so far and we believe we have a nice bunch of them this season.

"We have had six two year old runners, three of them have gone on to win with Campachoochoo, Stay Smart and Brazen Belle leading the way, Steadman was also impressive finishing second to The Lir Jet, who now looks one of the favourites for the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot.

"We have also had two other runners that have ran with credit, so our youngsters have really hit the ground running and we are delighted with them with more two year olds to unleash throughout the season.

"We should have a good season with our two year olds based on how they have started and overall it has been a positive start."

With a superb start with their two year olds the yard have also had some nice runs from their older horses, with plenty of them going to come on for the run.

Kelly added: With our older horses we have also had two winners but from more runners and for the most part they have looked like they have needed the run slightly, which is to be expected with almost six months without racing.

"However, we have had some horses show some real signs of encouragement starting with Firmament who ran a really good race at Newcastle, he just faded late on but he looked to be as good as ever.

"Summerghand was another who ran a cracker, he was probably not in the best position on the track at Newmarket but ran on well for second.

"Those two go to Ascot next week.

"If the older horses, as we expect, take a step forward for their first run the two of them will be in peak condition for Ascot with two big races lined up for them.

"Overall we are very happy with the start of the season and our older horses should take improvement from their first runs and hopefully the two year olds can continue as they have started."

Weekend Runners Preview

On what looks to be a fairly quiet weekend for the yard with only three runners we spoke to the assistant trainer Jason Kelly on the yards three chances, getting the lowdown on how they are expected to run across the weekend.

Saturday 12th - 14:15 Doncaster - Star Shield

"Star Shield is our only runner on Saturday and ran ok at Newcastle on his first start and like most of our older horses will certainly come on for the run.

"He was a little bit fresh and a bit keen and then got cut up late on and just finished on the bridle without the jockey being to hard on him late on.

"He will come on for the run.

"He runs over seven furlongs at a stiff track on Saturday and he might be slightly better over a mile but Doncaster will suit him being a horse that winds up into races and gathers momentum, so the stiff track will suit.

"He heads there with an each way chance already having a run under his belt and overall for the weekend Star Shield is our best chance.

Sunday 13th - 13:35 Newmarket - Infinite Grace

"The first of the two runners on Sunday comes at Newmarket with Infinite Grace and our three year olds and older are heading to racecourses needing the run and this is the fillies first race of the season.

"It's a competitive enough handicap as much of the three year old handicaps have been so far, but she is definitely a three year old filly to look forward to for the rest of the season.

"This is really just a starting point for her and we will see how she goes from there.

Sunday 13th - 16:15 Doncaster - Manzo Duro

"Our final runner is a horse who we believe will have a nice season is Manzo Duro and he is a horse we see getting further the more the season goes on.

"He is a big, tall, scopey horse with a bit of stamina in his pedigree so he will be stretched out to 10 furlongs throughout the season, but we are happy starting him off over a stiff mile at Doncaster in a 0-75 handicap.

"He is off a mark of 75 so it is the lowest grade he can get in but as I said the three year old handicaps have been fairly competitive at the start of this season.

"He is another that is probably best watched on his seasonal debut that should run ok but there should be improvement from his first run to his second.