Now we're hurling! The Flat season is well and truly rolling now and if Baaeed didn't send a glorious chill up your spine last weekend, you better go see a doctor.
This time of the year is just magnificent for those that love Flat racing and the heat is only going to rise in every sense in the next few weeks.
Miranda catches the eye
ITV Racing will show an eclectic mix of contests on Saturday and while the Cazoo Hell Nook Handicap at Haydock (14:00) isn't likely to be at the top of everyone's list of most anticipated races, I feel it presents one of the better punting prospects of the weekend in the shape of the Paul Nicholls-trained Miranda.
I've always been fond of the daughter of Camelot over hurdles over which she has won no less than six times, rising a career-high rating of 146 last season. She has only had two outings on the Flat since joining Nicholls, running quite well in a Listed race at Bath in October 2020 and finishing a good second to a well-handicapped rival in a handicap at Nottingham a fortnight later.
As well as her form over hurdles having come forward since then, one suspects that this longer trip on the Flat will very much play to her strengths.
A mark of 91 seems fair, conditions will suit and it wouldn't at all surprise if she proves herself to be well handicapped enough to go and win.
Talk will be Tough to beat at the Curragh
On the other side of the Irish Sea, it is a Classic weekend at the Curragh that promises to be very exciting and informative. One of the highlights of Saturday's card is the Gain Marble Hill Stakes (14:10) and it is without doubt the most exciting two-year-old race to be run in Ireland so far this season.
All five of the runners can have cases made for them, but the one I like is the Ger Lyons-trained Tough Talk.
The son of Kingman is out of a daughter of Galileo that Moyglare Stud acquired for $1.9m a few years ago and while she has already produced a useful sort in Tranchee, this colt could be the one to take her to the next level.
He won what appeals as being the strongest maiden run in Ireland this season, namely a six-furlong contest at the Curragh back in April. On that occasion he narrowly got the better of the very highly-regarded Little Big Bear in a performance that read very well on the clock and the form has got nothing but boosts since.
Tough Talk seems sure to have improved from that outing and he appeals as being a really exciting prospect. This is far from a soft touch, but he looks to be the one to beat.