IT HAS been a tough month for Albury trainer Brett Cavanough and his team but he hopes he can be back on track by midway through January.
Cavanough has had to deal with two big blows in recent weeks but is confident his stable is through the worst of it.
A virus that hit the stable turned out to be much worse than originally expected and sent his entire team into quarantine.
While that hit his team at his Albury stables, a fire ripped through a spelling paddock he leases just outside of Wodonga.
Cavanough had only picked up horses like The Monstar and Just A Bullet earlier in the week but 13 broodmares managed to survive.
It has been a testing time but Cavanough is keen to get back to training winners shortly.
“We’ve been battling, between the fires and the virus,” he said.
“We worked 15 here on Saturday morning, and again 14 (on Monday) so we’re getting there.”
Charles Sturt University’s team was unable to detect the nature of the virus that shut down Cavanough’s stable.
“We quarantined ourself,” Cavanough said.
“It was a bit scary.
“They never had a temperature but had a cough.
“CSU couldn’t detect it and we still don’t know.”
Cavanough, who has 50 to 60 horses in work, hopes to have his first runners back at Albury’s TAB meeting on January 16.
“With a little bit of luck we’ll get the all clear on the bloods and we’ll be racing at Albury by the middle of the month,” he said.
“It’s getting tricky because Canberra is only eight weeks away and the Albury carnival is 10 or 12.”
Cavanough has not had a starter since December 3.
He still holds a narrow lead in this year’s Southern District premiership, but is more concerned about getting his team right for the upcoming Canberra and Albury carnivals, along with the Country Championship heat at Wagga on February 27.
Cavanough has also chosen to make Wagga jockey John Kissick his number one stable rider.
Cavanough enjoyed enormous success with Richard Bensley over the past 12 months and will not completely abandon that partnership.
“Richie will still get on a good one every now and again,” he said.
“John’s coming over and doing the work so he gets first crack at them for now. Richie was fine, he understood that.”
Cavanough had apprentice Jessica Eaton on loan to him but she is out of action with a broken ankle sustained in a jump out.
Eaton rode nine winners in the SDRA this season.
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