It was intially my intention to re-appear with an acerbic account of what, if anything, has changed in the world of National Hunt racing in the 984 days that I have been away.
Instead, I have abandoned this approach for fear of sounding flippant or, worse yet, diluting the point of what I was trying to do.
That, although unstated in my earlier thought pieces on the 2014 festival, was to try and examine in a little more depth the form that gives rise to perceived wisdom and to draw my own conclusions rather than being told what to think.
This was the aim which underpinned a 2014 article that forcefully argued the merits of Cue Card as a Gold Cup contender in the aftermath of a King George that lead people to doubt him. I hope with the benefit of hindsight that his subsequent performances give credence to the view.
Coupled with that the aim, I must say that I was once quite taken the advice that only a charalatan will tell you what to do, the best help you can get tells you what not to do and lets you work it out for youself. To that end, although I may offer my own suggestion as to a likely winner, I am by no means offering tips. I hope to inform, to analyse and to add to the wider discourse. That said, it would be nice if, from time to time, my thinking would be validated in the form of a winner!
So, having established and affirmed the raison d’etre for this particular corner of the internet, I will depart for the day to return again soon.