Upper Lambourn trainer Daniel Kubler believes making the move to Sarsen Farm last November can be key to having a successful season.
Kubler Racing moved from renting at High View Stables last year, when an opportunity came up to buy some land for development.
Daniel, who runs the yard with wife Claire believes it has benefitted the whole stable since they moved.
A new home
“It’s been really successful," Daniel explains. "The first runner we sent out was a winner, which was good, and it’s continued in that vein.
“If we continue at the same rate that we have, it’ll prove to be the right thing.
“We’re located in a great position, we’re close to the gallops and we have access to lots of very good facilities.
“You can definitely tell the difference since we have moved – the form of the yard is much better now and the strike rate is too.
“The yard is in full use, but work is continuing and it should all be completed by the start of 2020.
“We’ve purposely built the stables so it’s optimising the horses’ welfare and we have high-quality accommodation, which helps our staff as they live close by.”
Prior to moving to Lambourn, Kubler Racing trained out of the New Forest and Daniel felt the move to Berkshire has suited them.
He said: “We were training in a very small yard and, although we had a good season, we needed more space and the opportunity came.
“The facilities here are excellent and all of the gallops are high quality as they are maintained by the Jockey Club, who do a great job.
“It’s well located because we can access a lot of racecourses pretty efficiently and there is motorway access when travelling further.”
Both Daniel and Claire spent time in California, picking up a number of different experiences within the racing industry.
“You learned a lot because things were slightly different,” said Daniel. “They are focussed on the veterinary and scientific side of things and they would also run things very commercially.
“There are people in America that would want to buy a horse with proven form in Britain.”
An American view
And Claire believes the experiences in the United States have helped her understand a different side to racing.
She said: “We use a product called Equinity, which will record all of the horses’ heart-rates, times during work, stride lengths and stride frequency.
“When you gather that information over a number of years, you can start to analyse it and correlate it to the race track.
“You learn so much stuff because you move around a lot – it’s interesting to see how the dynamics change.
“You have to move staff, try to motivate them again and it’s important that the horses adapt to a new surface.”
Now that Kubler Racing has moved to Sarsen Farm, Daniel is targeting a successful 2019.
He said: “I think we’ll surpass the amount of winners and I think we’ll get our best-ever total in terms of prize money and winners.
“We’d like to get to 20 winners and with 25 runners, I think it’s going quite well. If we improve, hopefully we can attract new owners as well as keeping existing owners happy.”
And Claire believes there are some stars in their ranks. She said: “We have some lovely two-year-olds that are unraced at the moment, but when they hit the track they should be exciting."
Daniel added: “We have a filly called Chitra who has won five races already and she is only a three-year-old.”
Claire spent some time at Highclere Stud with John Warren and admitted the experience gained from that has its rewards.
“It was fascinating because you learn what to look for and being able to know that when we look ourselves is good.”
Claire and Daniel, for the first time, invited their team into a meeting before the season to discuss goals for the upcoming year.
“We’re very much together as a team,” Claire said. “It was great for the team to be in with us because everyone was on board and we were all at an agreement.
“We’re doing well as a team and we had our half-year review which showed us that, so it gave everyone a boost."
Fenella dreams of ‘rewarding’ job
Fenella Holland is determined to pursue a career in racing after completing a one-year internship at Kubler Racing.
The 20-year-old is currently a student at Loughborough University and took a year out to spend time working.
Holland, from Newbury, had an interview with Red Bull, but after it didn’t work out she turned her attention to horseracing.
“I kind of reassessed what I wanted to do, and with me having background with horses, I wanted to do something with my year that I was going to enjoy.”
After emailing the majority of trainers in Lambourn, it was Dan and Claire Kubler, who responded to her request.
“They ran me through what I wanted from the year and what they would expect from me and it kind of fell into place.”
And although Fenella’s placement year has come to an end, it’s an industry she is definitely considering once she finishes her degree.
“It’s been an eye-opener,” she said. “I never really had an idea about it all – I had no expectations and it’s amazing what people do for a horse.
“From an outsider’s point of view, you don’t see that and having the experience has showed me that they are treated like kings and queens.”
But the early starts in Lambourn will definitely be missed and Fenella admitted that getting back to university life would be hard.
“It is going to be hard getting back into a routine of actually having to do academic work.
“I’m going to miss the riding and even just the banter within the yard because everyone is lovely and we have a great laugh – it’s nice to be active.”
Over the past year, she has had plenty of memories and although it’s a busy industry, she believes the rewards are worth it.
She said: “7am is always the busiest times on the gallops and when you’re up there watching the galloping left, right and centre, it’s amazing.
“In every type of weather, they still go out and it’s rewarding working with them and then going off to watch them at the races,” she added.