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Joseph Parr battling through during racing's coronavirus suspension




Within a matter of days of succeeding his grandfather Alan Bailey, new trainer on the block Joseph Parr recorded his first winner.

Clem A was the horse in question as the four-year-old triumphed by a neck at Wolverhampton on March 9.

It appeared to be onwards and upwards for the Hamilton Road-based 32-year-old from there, but then the coronavirus pandemic shut racing down, with the British Horseracing Authority deciding against putting a date on when the sport might resume.

Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757369)
Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757369)

For someone so new to the Newmarket ranks, such uncertainty could result in a few sleepless nights.

Parr is not quite at that point, although he concedes the process would be much easier to deal with if the picture was clearer.

“It is very much day by day at the moment,” said Parr, who trains out of Frankland Lodge Stables.

Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. G'Daay owned by Trevor Milne. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757373)
Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. G'Daay owned by Trevor Milne. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757373)

“I have started a new business and so financially this is far from ideal. Some of our money would come through going racing, although I accept you cannot rely on that when things are normal.

“We are being well looked after by the BHA and the Jockey Club are doing everything they can, it is just the uncertainty that is tough.

“I completely understand why they cannot put a date on it, but if we had one to work towards, then we could let all of the owners know and get the horses ready for then.

“I have been lucky that my owners have been so supportive and only a couple of horses have left the yard so far.

Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757375)
Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757375)

“Everyone is the same boat essentially – it is not just me getting some bad luck.

“We are still out there working and we have to be thankful for that. A lot of people are currently stuck at home all day, so we cannot complain too much.”

Parr is also grateful to be operating in such an established racing location as Newmarket.

The gallops remain open, and therefore he is able to keep his string in good shape for when the action can get back under way.

Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757368)
Newmarket trainer Joseph Parr at his Frankland Lodge Stables. Hello Me unraced 2YO from Martley Hall Stud Framlingham. Picture by Mark Westley. (33757368)

“I only have a small yard so maybe it might be harder for me than some others, but there can be no better place to have your horses than Newmarket,” added the former Exning, Newmarket Town and Red Lodge footballer.

“The gallops remain open and that is a big plus of being here.

“There is a good camaraderie among the trainers here and an acceptance that this is the same for everyone. We all still have to do the best by our horses.”


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