After an extremely mild couple of weeks, autumn has come with a bang as we were hit with a frost this morning, the first since last spring. It does feel right to be having cooler temperatures now we are well into October as the mild nights weren't ideal with the horses starting to grow their winter coats.
There is some proper autumn ground about now too after the rain we've had over the past few weeks so hopefully the horses we have saved for the softer conditions can show their best.
The action kicks off early this week with four runners at Yarmouth on Monday.
First up will be Stintino Sunset who makes her reappearance after winning at Leicester in August. Sadly since then her owner Steve Clarke has died so we had to get the ownership transferred to his good friend and co-breeder Tony and hopefully she can continue to do Steve proud. She has run well on soft ground before so that holds no fears.
I'm not sure that will be the case for Pierce who makes his debut for us. He will probably turn out to be best on the all-weather but he needs a run to blow away the cobwebs and we will learn plenty about him after this effort.
Notre Dame got a very sensible handicap mark of 60 after her first three career runs so hopefully she can make an impact now in handicap races. She has settled down now and isn't as keen early on so that should help her see out the distance but whether soft ground is ideal for her remains to be seen.
Rounding off our quartet of runners will be Queen's Company. She has been winning over 1m2f but dropping back to one mile on soft ground shouldn't be too challenging for her, providing they go a strong pace. I can see her running on late at the end, hopefully in time to get her head in front where it matters.
One horse who's shown great form on very soft ground is Macho Son and he gets that on Tuesday at Nottingham where the ground is heavy. He went close to winning at the track on similar ground in the spring so fingers crossed he can repeat the performance but go one better this time. He's in an apprentice riders race but has the experienced Brandon Wilkie on board who has been riding plenty of winners recently.
Another who has run best on soft ground is Silver Shamrock following her third place finish at Yarmouth last time. She got a realistic rating of 60 after that so hopefully she can back up the performance in testing conditions at Nottingham on Wednesday.
Thursday rounds off our racing week with a couple entries at two tracks.
Heer's Sadie has had a productive season with two wins on the board but showed she still has some petrol left in the tank when second by the south coast last time. This might be her last run before going on a winter holiday but I think she is still capable of running another good race if things go her way.
The other Thursday runner will be Grand Duchess Olga at Chelmsford. She got her first win on the board in gutsy fashion at the same course last time and only went up 2lb for it. She had to miss her last engagement due to a skin rash but she is over it now and ready to roll. She has kept on improving since we bought her in the summer so hopefully there is a bit more to come from her.