Brentford Hope drew many admirers with his eye-catching Newmarket maiden success in October and his trainer Richard Hughes is currently awaiting news of when this year’s Derby will be staged.

Owned by Bernardine and Sean Mulryan, Brentford Hope struck on debut in a 1m2f contest at the Rowley Mile under a typically confident Jamie Spencer ride, cruising up to the leaders on the bridle before before skipping clear to record a five-length success.

Given his pedigree as a son of 2012 Derby hero Camelot, the Blue Riband is likely to be on the colt’s agenda this season and Hughes said: “The most important thing I need to know is when the Derby is going to be run, as I’m not going to start finding out how well he’s going only to find it’s at the end of August. We’re hovering with him at the moment.

“It’s very hard to turn them off and turn them on again. He’s ready to press on and I won’t press until there’s solid confirmation.

“Fourteen horses turn up every year from Britain and Ireland and the chances of me having one [a Derby runner] is slim, I’m well aware of that. He’s definitely a 100-rated horse but that doesn’t mean you’re a Derby horse.

“At the end of the day, all he’s won is a maiden, so he has to prove himself.”

Hughes is well aware of the problems that racing faces in trying to resume during the coronavirus pandemic yet is busy preparing his horses at Weathercock House in Lambourn, ready for when the green light is given to resume.

Camelot is the sire of Brentford Hope – Photo: George Selwyn

“When the suspension initially happened, I walked my horses for two weeks and in hindsight, I could’ve done it for three or four weeks,” Hughes said. “We stepped them back up cantering again and my target is that we will race in the second or third week in May and my horses should be ready.

“I had four or five ready to rock and roll so I’m very nervous about what will happen with these horses if we don’t get racing soon. Two-year-olds could miss the boat if the action doesn’t start and it’s very important that we get maidens for them.

“There were a lot of horses who didn’t have a chance all winter and I can understand people who have those horses want them to run. I have a few of them here as well. But I understand the bigger picture that if we want Classic races and Group races, we have to get the better horses out first.

“The worst-case scenario for racing is if we get going and we had to stop again. That would be very frightening.”

Hughes’ business model is based on bringing horses into his yard, improving them and then moving them on when they have reached their limit. The current shutdown has led him to review how he operates.

He explained: “We have a lot of turnover of horses, we offload them for a certain price and go again in September. Then you’re hoping you find with that money that you’re getting a better one and owners are not losing too much in one hit.

“That cycle is going to be very frightening coming up. I buy all my horses on spec and I couldn’t possibly go to Doncaster and buy seven on spec like I did last year.

“We all want to be in the position where you get 15 horses from owner-breeders and they know that ten of them aren’t going to be good and that four or five will be okay. When you’re buying horses for people and you’re saying you like this and will you buy him for 50 grand and then six months later you have to say the better get rid of it, asking to go again is hard.”