After a very quiet couple of weeks at Carlburg the flat turf season is finally almost upon us, and we get things going with a couple of representatives up at Doncaster on Saturday.

The still lightly-raced Father Of Jazz has developed quickly over the winter but wasn’t seen at his best in a fairly steadily-run G3 Winter Derby at Lingfield last month when he finished third. The Gredley Family-owned four-year-old showed plenty of natural pace in the process of winning his third novice over 10 furlongs at Chelmsford, and did so again on subsequent handicap debut off a mark of 90 at Lingfield. The suspicion remains that he may be an even better horse on turf, and a good gallop over the straight mile at Doncaster should play to his strengths. Ideally he would like a bit more rain to fall between now and the drop of the flag, and this is a good renewal of a race we have had success in with Belardo, Zabeel Prince, and Sharja Bridge in recent seasons. We are looking forward to finding out more about him tomorrow.

Highclere’s four-year-old Ascension is due to be our representative in what looks a particularly deep edition of the Lincoln Handicap. The Dark Angel gelding has always shown pattern-level ability in his home work since his juvenile days, but is yet to properly transfer that to the racecourse. We are coming round to the idea that a well-run mile is going to suit him well, although he too wouldn’t mind some precipitation before tomorrow afternoon. The pace in the Lincoln appears to be in amongst the higher-drawn horses so stall six wouldn’t seem ideal on paper, but the ability is there even if ground and draw are perhaps not in his favour.

Best of luck to all connections and let’s hope for a high-quality flat turf season in 2021.