OPTIMISTIC Hampshire trainer Marcus Tregoning is looking forward to the challenges offered by the 2017 flat season.
He is hoping it will herald a return to the days when he was a major force in the sport - Sir Pecy's triumph in the 2006 Derby and more than 50 group successes bear testimony to that.
Drawing a veil over last year's disappointments, the Whitsbury-based trainer stressed: "Racing is a very exciting game. I get a lot out of it every day.
"You meet so many lovely people and you never know what's around the corner. I particularly love these big heritage handicaps where the prize money is so good and success is a good advertisement for your trade."
Thankfully, the portents look favourable.
The virus that dogged the yard last season has thankfully gone and his string, which this year numbers more than 60, look healthy.
Among the classic trials staged at Newmarket is the Nell Gwynn Stakes and that is where the stable's useful Argenterie - French for silverware - will probably start, with the Fred Darling at Newbury held in reserve.
Belying her 66/1 odds, she ran well on her debut behind Rhododendron at Goodwood. She then bolted up at Salisbury, her three and a half winning margin giving no indication as to her superiority, before she was targeted at the competitive Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in October.
But the filly was beaten some five lengths into seventh.
The three-year-old is not engaged in the 1,000 Guineas and Tregoning accepts she will have to run exceptionally well to be supplemented for the classic. Instead he visualises the Cheshire Oaks a more suitable proposition for the Street Cry filly.
The trainer is particularly keen on Red Royalist whose mid-season objective will be the seven furlong Britannia handicap at Royal Ascot. Second on his debut at the track last year, he then ran an even better race in finishing third in a lucrative sales race at Newbury.
"Hopefully he will get a mile. He has a good turn of foot and I can see him having a good season."
An intriguing horse is Monaadhil, who will be campaigned over a mile. The Dark Angel colt had been showing up well last season but then chipped a knee bone and never ran.
Mukalal has already had one outing this season but got mugged in the shadow of the post in a maiden at Newcastle.
"I am very excited about him. He's a strong galloping type who will go handicapping. He broke well at Newcastle, but ran a bit too keenly, got clear and was then caught close home," Tregoning reported.
Another getting a favourable mention was Dance The Dream who won at Chepstow and Leicester last year.
"She will go down the handicap route and we will probably start her off at Goodwood on 1,000 Guineas day, though we might have a look at the John Porter at Newbury.
"Unfortunately she only has a mark of 93 and there will be others there at 113 or 114."