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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Dartnall back from the brinkHeadlines
Victor Dartnall

Victor Dartnall has reflected on what he has described as the worst six weeks of his training career.

The North Devon handler was forced to shut down his Barnstaple stables in November after an outbreak of equine herpes in the yard. Dartnall revealed six horses paid the ultimate price, including Pocket Too, a winner at Chepstow in early November, before the disease struck.

"The past six weeks or so have been the worst of my training career and not something I would ever want to live through again," he told www.victordartnallracing.com.

"We adopted a policy of openness from the outset and I hope from our experiences, people will learn a little about this devastating virus, and, also, take it very seriously. That way we can help prevent its spread and further suffering.

"All our horses have been vaccinated against herpes virus for the past 10 years, but we have subsequently learned that it just dampens the virus. However, if we hadn't been vaccinated, 90% of our yard could have been affected, instead of 25%.

"The most dangerous part of a herpes outbreak is the first few days, when you don't actually realise you have it. In all, 25% of our horses were affected in one way or another. The mildest had a raised temperature, the most severe loss of hind limb co-ordination to fatal paralysis.

"The remaining 75% of the yard carried on as normal and showed no clinical signs. The outbreak has had an immense effect on our business. Over the last six weeks we've lost six horses in total, including two very nice youngsters who were showing a lot of promise, and the gutsy Pocket Too.

"But it makes you fight back to get to where you were and we have some very nice horses to run and some good-looking three-year-olds to bring in and get going.

"I'm very much looking forward to the future and am delighted to say that the horses are all in great heart.

"We're very appreciative of all the support we have had from everyone. It has been brilliant."

21 January 2017

Pinzolo too sharp for Lingfield rivals
Bristol De Mai's day as Alary falters in Peter Marsh at Haydock
Nigel Twiston-Davies salutes The New One after Haydock triumph
Un De Sceaux to run at Cheltenham for rearranged Clarence House Chase
Neon Wolf cuts loose at Haydock to claim Supreme trial
Waiting Patiently pounces at Haydock for Malcolm Jefferson
Hereford forced to abandon Sunday card
Deepsand a shore thing at Haydock for Alexander Thorne
Classy Jezki back in business at Navan
Yorkhill faces examination of chasing credentials at Leopardstown
Heartbreak City bids to transfer top Flat form to valuable jumps prize
Hereford inspection brought forward
Clarence House Chase switched to Cheltenham
Sunday check for Hereford card
Fontwell team call inspection ahead of Sunday meeting
Frozen Taunton loses Saturday fixture
Dual Group One winner The Grey Gatsby joins Dermot Weld
Ascot card called off following early-morning inspection
River flows deep for Tim Vaughan at Chepstow
Project Bluebook earns Cheltenham quotes with Musselburgh success
Colin Tizzard earmarks Cleeve Hurdle charge with West Approach
Injury setback for Andrew Thornton but 'this is 100 per cent not the end'
Peter Bowen ponders hurdling return for Henri Parry Morgan
Alan King puts 'progressive' Elgin on trial at Haydock
Dashing grey Politologue takes next step up the ladder at Haydock
The New One primed for Champion Hurdle Trial hat-trick bid
Colin Tizzard wary of Alary's weighty task in Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock

20 January 2017

Tom Symonds keen to test Don Bersy before Haydock date
Jezki back on road to Cheltenham with Navan return
Un De Sceaux and Ar Mad set to renew rivalry but weather threatens Ascot
Ascot 'up against it' as Clarence House Chase card in jeopardy
Partly-frozen Ascot to stage inspection before Clarence House fixture
Chepstow given go-ahead after precautionary inspection
Classic quotes for Really Special after Meydan success
Alfie proves a money-spinner for Kerry Lee at Wincanton
No place quite like Ludlow for Land Of Vic
Willie Mullins happy with progress of Faugheen and Annie Power
Ryanair Chase on the horizon for Sizing John after Kinloch Brae success
Willie Mullins mob-handed in Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival
Ballyandy heading straight to Betfair Hurdle
Faugheen and Annie Power part of 47-strong entry for Stayers' Hurdle
Un De Sceaux and Ar Mad clash in Clarence House Chase at Ascot

19 January 2017

Sizing John shows strength to win Kinloch Brae at Thurles
Taunton Saturday fixture subject to inspection
Go-ahead for Wincanton after fourth inspection
Graeme McPherson considers Yorkshire raid with Cheltenham hope Ami Desbois
'Hopeful' Wincanton calls fourth inspection
Barry Murphy has Cheltenham Festival in mind for Pairofbrowneyes
Third inspection called at Wincanton
Chateau Conti has Supreme goal at Cheltenham Festival
Wincanton announces second course inspection
Wincanton takes precautions
Ascot and Haydock positive over weather for weekend action
Midlands National target for Pobbles Bay
Champion Hurdle entry for Moon Racer but Supreme the 'logical race'
Beyond Conceit in Supreme picture after Newbury return
Big date with Heartbreak City for Donagh Meyler
Relkeel winner Agrapart all set for Stayers' Hurdle tilt
Really Special bids to put Classic case at Meydan
First Lieutenant just one of the stars in red-hot hunter chase at Thurles
Willie Mullins hands Black Hercules Thurles redemption mission

18 January 2017

Jimmy Moffatt sitting tight with Highland Lodge ahead of Aintree
Joy for owner Bill Davies as he bags first winner - after 25 years of trying
Desert Orchid's trainer David Elsworth hoping to keep Kempton
Warren Greatrex warns The Nipper not certain to make Cheltenham
Boost for courses as racing back to second-best attended sport
Evan Williams set to put Clyne on trial at Haydock
Warren Greatrex considers Stayers' Hurdle test for One Track Mind
Annie Power and Faugheen star in 28 for Champion Hurdle
Newbury receives go-ahead at third attempt
Newbury 'very hopeful' as third inspection announced
Kerry Lee ducks Thurles mission with Ascot-bound Kylemore Lough
Newbury announces second course inspection
Roger Charlton keeps the faith with Frankel filly Fair Eva
Newbury calls inspection after overnight temperatures drop below freezing
Second Thought continues on the up at Kempton
Classy Starchitect up and running over fences at Ayr
Politologue stars in novice entry at Haydock
Contrasting views on Kempton closure from prominent Newmarket figures
Cyrus Darius primed for eagerly-awaited weekend return at Haydock

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