The seasons come around with their mixture of regularity and unpredictability.

Last week it was thoroughly predictable that I would be standing on the Members' lawn at Cheltenham racecourse for much of the week.  It was fairly predictable that Sizing Europe would win a 2-mile chase (last year the Arkle, and this year the Champion) and that Alberta's Run would win the Ryanair Chase (just like last year).  These two are spring horses who like Cheltenham and whatever they have or haven't done in the season running up to the big day they are worth keeping in mind - so I did.  And thanks to them it was a winning Cheltenham.

It was also a good Cheltenham for the excellent company of friends and the fact that I added four species to my racecourse list during the week - great-spotted and green woodpeckers, wren and raven.

And it was very spring-like at Stanwick Lakes yesterday.  Chiffchaffs were singing, as were lots of resident passerines.  And later, a brimstone butterfly flew through my garden.

At Nene Park, the mighty Rushden did not have much of a spring in their step as they drew with lowly Southport.  That seems to me to be the end of any realistic hope of getting into the play-offs come May - but then, some things are predictable in spring.

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