We haven't got a winner on the board for 2018 yet but the three runners this week did their best and all came home with some prize money.
Best Example had his first taste of Southwell and 1m6f at the same time but he seemed to handle both perfectly well to finish second behind an in-form course specialist.
Another great run came from Lulu Star who made a fantastic debut for us when finishing 3rd in a Kempton maiden behind a Godolphin newcomer. We only bought her for 6,000gns in the autumn and she looks an exciting horse for this winter.
Although he finished seventh, Maazel won some prize money too thanks to the new initiative this year to extend prize money down to eighth place. Although it's only £300, that's enough for the owner to pay the jockey's fee, contribute a bit towards the stable staff pool money and have some left over to cover other costs. It's about time the bottom end of the sport was looked after and hopefully this scheme can last and hopefully be improved upon.
Members of the N.E.T. Racing Club were out in force to see their new lad run which was a very pleasing sight and he will strip a lot fitter for this comeback appearance.
This week could be a quiet one on the racecourse with three entries, all of which may not run due to various factors.
As mentioned, Best Example ran last week but is entered at Newcastle on Thursday. I will see how fresh he is afterwards and also if the handicapper puts him up in the ratings before making a decision whether to declare. If he does run, the conditions look ideal for him to get in the frame again.
Sunset Bounty will be given an entry for Lingfield on Saturday but, as ever, it is unlikely she will get a run due to her low rating. It is a shame because we haven't seen the best of her yet so hopefully she can get a run soon and show her true colours.
The third entry will be Candesta at Southwell on Sunday. He ran out an easy five-length winner there last time but a 9lb rise in the weights for that means life will be a lot tougher now. However, he has been in flying form at home since then so should give another good account if taking his chance.
We are full to the brim again in the yard now as all the horses on a winter holiday have come back into work. It's good to see heads peering over every stable door but it does mean there is a lot of work to do! Keeping busy will help the time fly by and it'lll be the turf season before you know it.
The recently-turned two-year olds are now back in exercise too after their usual fortnight off over the holiday period. Carol Bushnell's two boys Paintball Wizard and Highway Robbery lead the way and are going about their work in a good way. Of course, the babies can't run until their races start in April but all the work they do now is laying down a solid education for later in the year.
In case you missed it, the latest edition of our newsletter The Harraton Herald came out this week. You can view it on our HOMEPAGE or by following this link: https://issuu.com/juliafeildenracing/docs/winter_2018_edition_21