It feels like spring is definitely here now as we've had some lovely weather for the past couple of weeks but as always there is one thing to complain about - we need some rain! It's already getting very dusty on the Heath and the ground at most tracks is firming up so drop of rain wouldn't go amiss.
We're in for a busy week with loads of runners, kicking off on Monday at Southwell.
Mrs Meader doesn't like firm ground so we're giving her a run on the all-weather here. She hasn't shown her best form recently on this surface but Southwell tends to ride a bit deeper and the long straight should suit her so hopefully she can run a good race.
On Tuesday we'll be at two difference seasides with a pair of runners at Yarmouth and one at Brighton.
We had a rare day off at Yarmouth last week for their opening fixture of the year but we're very happy to be back there this time with two horses in the same race.
The ground is probably a bit firm for Oud Metha Bridge but it is very likely to be his final run before he retires. He got his head back in front on New Year's Day at Southwell but he has been showing a lack of enthusiasm recently and we have a good home lined up for him so it is a good time to end things. He is still capable on a going day so maybe he could have the perfect send off.
One horse who never lacks enthusiasm is Spanish Mane and she is back for another campaign. She had her usual winter holiday and seems to have all the usual ability on her return. She usually needs a run to blow away the cobwebs so I expect her to improve for the run as she'll have a busy season ahead of her.
Smokey Malone will be heading down to Brighton and he should run a big race at a quirky track which should suit his quirky nature. He needs a good pace to chase and likes to come with a late rattle so if he can get these things then he should go close.
We'll have three runners on Wednesday as well but it's all at the same meeting of Wolverhampton.
Kicking things off will be The Mouse King in the novice race. There are a couple of winners in there so it's not an easy race and six furlongs is on the sharp side for him but he has shown promise so far and I expect him to run well again.
Engrave doesn't particularly enjoy firm turf ground and all her wins are on the all-weather at Chelmsford. She is definitely capable of winning a race somewhere else so I have no doubt that she can win a race like this. She has looked a bit high in the weights recently which might be enough to anchor her.
The final runner of the day will be Arpina who has gone close herself to winning at the track. She is quite a no-nonsense horse who runs well when she can make the running so fingers crossed she can get things her way.
We had some bad news on Sunday morning as we came out for morning stables and realised a fox had killed all the chickens in their pen. We rehomed them a couple years ago and they were great fun around the yard as well as laying lots of eggs so it is sad not to have them. We'll definitely be getting some more and have learnt the hard way that they need to be locked inside their coop at night.