Few trainers get to saddle a live Classic hope having had just nine previous runners beforehand.
But that’s what Owen Burrows did in this year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he nearly hit the jackpot with Massaat, who chased home Galileo Gold.
That’s as close as champion trainer John Gosden has come to winning the colts’ Classic – and he has held a licence for 27 years!
In fairness, Burrows’s circumstances are different to most rookie trainers
He has taken over the reins from Barry Hills, who retired last year, at Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Kingwood House Stables in Lambourn and has a team of just under 50 – with half of them being two-year-olds.
The 41 year-old spent a dozen years as assistant to Sir Michael Stoute after riding as a conditional jockey over jumps and acknowledges he has been given a great opportunity.
“I’m in a very privileged position, you can only dream of starting with team like this,” Burrows said. “Great faith has been put in me and i just want to repay that.
“Quality is the thing. We’ll try and win as many big races as we can – that’s what Sheikh Hamdan is all about.”
The early signs are promising, and Massaat’s next assignment is likely to be the Investec Derby.