Sunday sees a veteran trainer send out the final runner of a long career at Fontwell. Dai Burchell turns 85 in early-February and has decided that now is the right moment to call time on his training days. The Welsh yard are in the process of going out with a bang with two winners from their last five runners.
It would be hugely fitting if Sunday’s contender made it three from six to send the trainer out on top. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement prize at the 2018 Welsh Racing Awards, Burchell’s volume of winners has been down in recent times but he still produced a 15% strike-rate in the 2018-19 season for a level stakes profit of +£62.50!
Adherence is the horse charged with being the final ever runner for Dai Burchell. It’s fair to say that he has shown very little over the last couple of seasons but has slipped down to a mark of 82 as a result. 2019 was the last time he got his head in front, winning over hurdles that year from 98 and over fences from 100.
They were both at Taunton, 2/2 at that sharp, right-handed track, trying his luck over the smaller obstacles at a sharp, left-handed track on this occasion. He made his debut for this yard only a couple of weeks ago at Huntingdon, backing out of things from the home turn.
That was his first run in 280 days so there is a solid chance that he will come on a little for that return to action blowing away the cobwebs. Three of his four career wins have come off breaks of twenty-one days, eight days and two days so clearly a relatively quick return is no concern for him.
A small move in the market has been noted on Saturday afternoon, the early 12-1 not lasting long, into 8-1 at the time of writing. Burchell has more than enough experience and skill to be able to go out on a winner and while we’re not tipping his horse, we’d not be upset if Adherence beat us. A very happy retirement to Dai Burchell.
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