The new season couldn't have got off to a better start with our first runner Engrave getting a win on the board at Chelmsford on Thursday. It was a much-deserved success for the grey mare as she had been very consistent over the winter and a bit of luck with a low draw meant that she always had a good position during the race and dug deep to beat pass the favourite towards the winning line.
Although only two owners per horse are allowed to attend at the moment, it was nice that N.E.T. Racing Club members Cameron and Maureen could be there to cheer her on. Thankfully restrictions will be easing slightly in a week's time so more owners will be allowed to attend.
The surface at Chelmsford is riding quite deep at the moment due to the dry weather and it means that the kickback there is quite bad. It didn't affect Engrave who was up the front and out of it all but it does mean that the filed sizes are a bit small there at the moment as some people are avoiding running there. With this in mind, Engrave has been entered again at the course on Thursday and we will see how she is at home before deciding whether to run. Once again, a low draw would be a big help to her if she were to run.
The racing club had a good week with the addition of a new horse to their ranks after I bought Shifting Gold at Tattersalls on Wednesday. She is a tough five-year old filly who has won three times already and looks the ideal candidate to give club members some fun days out and success along the way. She came from William Knight's yard and as my daughter Shelley now works there, we can get the inside scoop and find out which horses are worth buying. She has run recently so it shouldn't be too long before she is representing us on the racecourse.
The horses who had a winter holiday to freshen up for the turf season are now almost fit so we have a few more entries.
On Friday, Alibaba makes his seasonal return at Leicester. He had a good year in 2020 with two impressive wins but the handicapper hiked him up in the weights as a result so he does start this year a little high in the ratings. He is a tough and honest horse who will do his best but it remans to be seen if he needs to ease a little in the ratings before he can win again.
Also on Friday we have two entries at Kempton.
Mrs Meader came to us last summer and had just the one run when a good second at Newmarket. She picked up a little injury after that and has had a long time off but seems fully healed now. She is quite a hot-headed filly so we haven't been too hard on her but it'll be good to get her racing again and she should have a productive year.
In the same race we have Party Planner. She too has had some issues that have held her back but she is a lot better now and can hopefully get competitive again.
On Saturday we take two promising youngsters to Wolverhampton and both will be having their second career run. Due to a lack of opportunities, Heer's Sadie and Sir Gregory have got to run in the same race but it'll be a good experience for them both. Sir Gregory ran a very encouraging race first time out when a running-on third after looking green in the early stages. He seems a lot more professional since then so could improve some more. Heer's Sadie was keen on her debut and then got a bit tired so the drop in trip will suit her and she is another who has improved a lot for her first racecourse experience.