LUDLOW owner Mike Fothergill cannot wait for racecourses to open up fully again – so he can see his new star horse win in the flesh.

The 76-year-old, from Caynham, had to settle for watching on television as Method Madness romped to victory on his UK debut at Fothergill’s hometown Ludlow track at the end of February.

The relaxing of coronavirus restrictions means owners will be again allowed to attend meetings at the end of March, with spectators permitted in to racecourses a few weeks later.

Fothergill admitted: “It’s such a sad situation at the moment where no owners or spectators can go to the races. Poor old Ludlow racecourse, they can’t be making much money.

“I mean we all understand the reason and, as an old man who is slightly overweight, I’ve been closeted here at home. The only time I’ve been this year is to go and have my injection!

“You see a better race on the TV than you do when you’re there but you haven’t got the atmosphere. Ludlow Racecourse got off fairly lightly because they didn’t have to give us some champagne!”

Fothergill and a syndicate of associates including son Matthew, daughter Kate, son-in-law Matthew Sparey and friend Royston Lewis last year bought the horse, which is trained by Alastair Ralph.

“He’s well bred,” added Forthergill. “He had run in two bumper races, as they’re called, National Hunt flat races, in Ireland and come second both times.

“Because of the weather, the snow and the wet, we’ve been a bit late in running him – really, he’s been ready to run for a couple of weeks before he went to Ludlow.”

Lee Edwards brought him home ahead of ex-champion jockey Richard Johnson and Sam Twiston-Davies, leading Fothergill to believe the horse has a bright future.

Fothergill added: “His price of 25/1 was an insult – people get mesmerised by big names, (trainer) Kim Bailey had a horse in the race that was worth £60,000 and we saw him off in some style.

“We are very hopeful he’s going to go on to better things. We hope he’s going to be a chaser – he’s going to have one more ride, maybe two, and that will be it for the summer then.

“The problem you can get, especially with syndicates who are just in it for the winnings, is that a horse can be over-run and break down.

“People in syndicates now, they want to see their horse run which you can understand but they are not machines.

“So we’re going to give him a rest and with any luck he’ll jump a fence next year. It was too soft at Ludlow for him – he’ll be better over better ground.”