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.