John and I had a great week in Dubai for the World Cup meeting and I couldn't recommend a Racing Breaks holiday highly enough after a brilliantly organised and fun time. The fantastic weather certainly helped and there was plenty to keep racing fans busy with events such as 'Breakfast with the Stars' and of course the big night itself which was a fantastic spectacle and is easy to watch from an all-inclusive private box!
I was soon brought back to reality with a trip to Lingfield the day after we came back but I was kept glowing with Limerick Lord's win at Southwell the following day.
His win last time was his first in two years so I never expected him to win two in a row but he bounded clear under Ross and won quite easily this time. He is very well-handicapped when things go his way and he couldn't have got an easier lead in front than he did this time. The Southwell fixtures are drying up now so he'll have to run on the turf next but he has some good form at places like Brighton so, you never know, he could muster a hat-trick as he seems very happy with himself at the moment.
With a pair of promising seasonal returns from Terri Rules and Tallulah's Quest also last week, the team certainly seem to be hitting top form to greet the new turf season and I'm looking forward to my runners over the next few weeks.
One with a definite chance will be Maazel at Kempton on Wednesday evening. He has been running OK recently but has been a bit high in the weights. He has dropped to a rating of 68 now which will give him a chance and he ran a good race at the track late last year. His downfall is slow starts but hopefully the step up to 7f means that isn't as big an issue as over shorter.
Also that day, Gas Monkey is entered at Lingfield. He showed plenty of promise last year in three runs and I think he has come back a stronger horse after his winter break. He is starting off on the right rating but we're still not 100% sure about his best trip yet. He is also entered at Kempton on Friday and I hope that wherever he goes, he will run with promise.
Also at Kempton on Friday night is Oud Metha Bridge. He has been improving no end at the track in three runs for us with a win and two seconds to his name. He would have won last time too if he wasn't hampered in the straight so hopefully he can get some compensation this time. It looks a better race than usual on the entries but hopefully the field cuts up and he can go with a fighting chance.
Completing the week will be Oceanus at Lingfield on Saturday. He has been very consistent recently and should again be on the premises. He is such a tough and versatile horse - he can run on any kind of ground on the turf, all the all-weather tracks and even over hurdles. He is jumping and kicking at home so is certainly ready to run.