'I haven't watched a race since March 12' - Dascombe relishing start of new era

Tom Dascombe: trainer has a string of 13
Tom Dascombe: trainer has a string of 13Credit: Edward Whitaker

Misty Grey, a horse Tom Dascombe trusts implicitly to give him an accurate marker of where his string might be, is on course to be the trainer's first runner from his new Lambourn base on Saturday.

Dascombe made his name in the village when he started training in 2005, but moved to Cheshire four years later to link up with Michael Owen and Andrew Black.

That partnership has now ended and Dascombe recently moved into Uplands, the stable made famous by jumps legend Fred Winter.

He intends fielding , a 107-rated five-year-old, in a seven-furlong Listed race at Haydock.

"That is absolutely 100 per cent the plan," he said. "I haven't watched a race since March 12 when he last ran. I don't want to sound like I haven't been interested, but it's been nothing to do with me. The next race I'll watch will be his at Haydock.

Watch Misty Grey's last run

"The reason for him being the first runner is he's so consistent. If he throws in a bad one, I've probably got something wrong. He'll tell me far more than running an unraced three-year-old, who could run well or badly. He's my guide and I trust him implicitly to help me. If he finishes in the first four, I'll know where I am."

Dascombe, replaced by Hugo Palmer in Cheshire, added: "We had three horses at the beginning of April and now we've got 13. I bought four two-year-olds at the breeze-up sales and we've had two juvenile fillies sent in.

"We've some three-year-olds – raced and unraced – and then good old boys like Misty Grey and Miramichi, who won four last year.

"We've actually got a really good range for the small team we've got. It's been fun getting it going again."

Uplands: Dascombe's new home
Uplands: Dascombe's new homeCredit: Edward Whitaker

The Classic-winning trainer went on to reveal he had been overwhelmed by his welcome back to Lambourn.

He said: "How can I explain this? I don't want to bore people, but it's like coming home.

"There's a girl called Daisy Sharpe, who used to work for me 15 years ago and she rang up and said she wanted to come back and work for me now.

"It's incredible how so many people have been so helpful and want this to be successful. My head lad Andy Jackson, who has worked for me for 15 years, turned up this week, and Lizzie Lea, who has been with me for 13 or 14 years, is going to help with the admin and finance. You can't buy loyalty.

"The feed companies have been amazing and everyone has tried to help, including EJ Wicks, the saddle shop in the village.

"Everyone knocks horseracing and I've never worked in a different industry, but I can't believe there are that many more where people say, 'Don't worry about pay, we'll sort that out in a minute'. I can't thank people enough."

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James BurnLambourn correspondent

Published on 1 May 2022inNews

Last updated 10:09, 1 May 2022