Veteran Pelham returns after nearly four years

After: Pelham Crescent after being nursed back to health

Veteran Pelham returns after nearly four years By Lee Mottershead 1:01PM 13 SEP 2016

IT IS 1,405 days since Pelham Crescent last raced.

Some of the intervening days were far from pleasant for the former stalwart of the track, but he returns to action at Chepstow today having been nursed back to health and happiness by his current connections.

The 13-year-old will make his debut for Tonyrefail-based trainer Matthew Salaman and owner Debbie Hughes in Chepstow's 1m2f handicap, nearly four years after notching up the 87th outing of his career for the now retired Bryn Palling.

Hughes, who owns Salaman's yard and works as his assistant, said: "When Bryn retired he sold Pel but when he went to see him a few months later he wasn't happy with the horse's situation. He was rough and thin. Bryn was mortified and arranged a deal for us to buy him.

4123279.pelham-before-360

Before: Pelham Crescent arrived in bad condition

"Paul Lancaster, who looked after him at Bryn's and now works for Matthew and myself, burst into tears when he arrived off the lorry because of the condition he was in."

Thankfully, he was not in that condition for long.

"Bryn thought he would be perfect for us as a lead horse," said Hughes. "We did need one, so we nursed him back to health with a lot of help from our vet Ron Williams, who looked after him first when he was a yearling.

"Unfortunately he's a rubbish lead horse. He needs a lead himself. When he goes out on the roads we have two-year-olds leading him.

That was not the plan. I suppose we did rescue him – but when he's being naughty and dropping people you wonder why!"

The remaking of Pelham

1. The teeth needed quite a bit of attention, but trainer Salaman's 'tooth guy' Peter Hancock worked his magic.

2.Although there were no major problems with his back, there were a few niggles. Chiropractor Bethan Lloyd used her healing hands.

3. Farrier Ian Schofield "did a fab job" on the horse's feet, said Hughes. "When we got him he had one shoe on the front and on the back. His feet were pretty rough."

Explaining why Pelham Crescent today becomes a racehorse once again, Hughes added: "He isn't a horse you can turn out in a field. He likes his routine and he's bouncing at home. When Bryn saw recent pictures of him he said we really should give him a run.

"We found a local race at Chepstow and decided to let the old boy have a go, before maybe trying him in a couple of charity races.

"He'd be great for an amateur to ride because he does his own thing anyway. The most important thing is he enjoys himself."

Pelham Crescent
Chepstow – 16:40

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