Yes, the dust is still settling - and the hangovers clearing! - after another marvellous Cheltenham Festival but life goes on, and the Irish Lincoln at Naas next Saturday is a jolting reminder that the flat season is knocking on the door.
Next Saturday week at Doncaster the Unibet Lincoln is the first big betting heat of the new term and BLUE MIST can light up Town Moor. Roger Charlton's progressive type makes big appeal, particularly as four year olds have a great record in recent years.
The last three winners Addeybb, Bravery and Secret Brief were all that age, indeed nine of the last 16 to pass the jamstick first in this early season cavalry charge were, and that's a pretty imposing strike rate.
The straight course should be ideal for Blue Mist who handles any type of ground, having impressed on both the all weather and on soft. His Chelmsford second to Wissahickon over ten furlongs reads hot form now as John Gosden's winner went on to win his next four races - the Cambridgeshire, two Listed races and the recent Winter Derby at Lingfield!
Charlton feels a truly run mile will be perfect for his charge and he will certainly get that at Doncaster. He has never finished outside the top three which certainly adds to his each way attraction and the Beckhampton trainer thinks the Lincoln will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Auxerre tops the market at present but 5/1 looks very skinny indeed for this highly competitive contest. Kynryn, Humbert and Hathal are interesting and the bookies are particularly wary of the ex Kevin Pendergast trained Mizaah who has won his only race so far for Owen Burrows.
A change of scenery often works wonders but he won just one from 16 in Ireland, a six furlongs Curragh maiden three years ago. As ever there will be plenty with chances but Blue Mist is proven and progressive with plenty of scope for further improvement and looks a strong contender.
BLUE MIST 0.5 point each way 12/1 William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet Victor, BoyleSports.