It's hard to believe that for a long time Limerick Lord found winning very difficult and went almost two years without getting his head in front as he has now become a winning machine after notching his 5th success since the start of last year. He has become really versatile with regards to the course he runs at but his front-running tactics never change and once again he galloped his rivals into the ground at Southwell on Saturday night. He is giving his proud owner enormous amounts of fun and it is richly deserved - Steve stuck by his horse through the lean times and is now enjoying the rewards.
The horses were all in great form last week with five of our seven runners finishing in the first three places. Majestic Moon, Casey Banter and Sea Shack all put in good efforts to fill the frame whilst Gas Monkey was only narrowly denied at Chelmsford.
Hopefully the good form can roll into this week as we have plenty to run, including some who are coming back from their winter holidays.
Both Majestic Moon and Limerick Lord could make quick reappearances at Southwell on Wednesday if I think they are fresh enough to run again. They both like the track and are clearly in good heart so I don't see why they shouldn't be involved at the finish once again.
I also had Sea Shack entered again but he has been a bit stiff since his last run so we will probably give Chelmsford on Thursday a miss but Lulu Star will still head there. She looked very lacklustre last time and the jockey said to try some cheekpieces on her to help her focus. Her homework since then has been very good so the engine is still there, we just need her to use it again.
The turf season officially got underway at Doncaster on Saturday and we'll be racing on the green stuff at Leicester on Friday with Oud Metha Bridge and Oceanus entered in the same race but unfortunately it looks like Oceanus won't get a run with lots of horses entered. Oud Metha will though and he is in great order after a holiday. He isn't as good on turf as the all-weather but he is rated lower on grass so hopefully he can make the most of it as he is fit enough to run well.
Then rounding off the week on Saturday will be Highway Robbery and Terri Rules at Wolverhampton. Robbie is coming back after a holiday and will come on for the run whilst Terri is fit after her comeback last month and should be capable of winning a race like this as long as she doesn't blow the start like she sometimes does.
Our Four To Follow competition started on Monday but it's not too late to enter if you want to but any points earned before your entry won't count! We will be updating the points table every week so please keep an eye on our dedicated FOUR TO FOLLOW PAGE and good luck!
Winter felt like it has gone on forever even though we got away with a pretty mild one this year but I'm delighted to see that turf racing is back next weekend as Doncaster kicks off the UK flat season.
To be honest though it is a bit of a stuttering start as between then and the Craven meeting two weeks later, there are only four turf meetings so really things don't get going properly until Newmarket starts its season off.
With a yard full of fit and healthy horses, I'm raring to unleash them over the coming weeks and hopefully they can build upon their comebacks. We will be at Doncaster for the opening day on Saturday as War Empress makes her career debut in the 1m2f novice race. She could have run on the all weather already but the owners wanted to wait for the grass and her homework has been pretty good so hopefully she can get involved and learn a lot for the experience.
Coinciding with the start of the turf season is the kick-off of the 2019 Julia Feilden Racing "Four to Follow" competition. Like always, you just have to pick four horses from our yard and they will earn you points throughout the season with the winner receiving tickets and a meal for four people at any selected Great Yarmouth Racecourse thanks to the track's very generous sponsorship. Full details can be found on our dedicated FOUR TO FOLLOW page.
Before that, we will be at the races on Monday as Miss Green Dream has her second run for us. She ran a respectable third last time and looked to stay the 1m4f well so it's a shame we have to drop down to 1m2f this time but there just aren't any other suitable races for her. She will likely find things on the sharp side but hopefully her proven stamina will kick in late on as she has the ability to win a race in this grade.
Then on Wednesday we will be doubly represented with Majestic Moon first up at Southwell. He has been holding his form well without winning but his last success did come at this track. It's a Class 4 race but not a great one for the grade so hopefully he can earn some more prize money.
Over at Kempton, Casey Banter should have a live chance as she drops down in class. She needed the run at Chelmsford last week after a winter holiday and I think she should go close to winning if getting the rub of the green with decent apprentice rider Scott McCullagh taking 7lbs off the top weight she has to carry.
Thursday sees us with two more runners and Scott will be riding for us again as he gets on board his usual mount Sea Shack at Wolverhampton. The pair have had a very consistent winter and deserve to win a race. The handicapper has finally dropped him 1lb in the weights so that might be all it takes for him to get his head in front.
Meanwhile at Chelmsford, I'm Brian will be having his second career run and it'll be another step on the experience ladder for him.
As well as War Empress, Limerick Lord will also be in action on Saturday but over ta Southwell under their newly-installed floodlights. He has had a great winter and this race looks ideal for him so fingers crossed he can run another big race.