NORTH Yorkshire trainer Gemma Tutty has enjoyed a strong start to the year and she could be smiling again as Redcar gets its 2024 season underway on Monday.

Tutty, based at Osmotherley, saddles Look Back Smiling in the feature race, the class 3 Handicap, three weeks after he won the class 2 Spring Mile at Doncaster’s curtain-raiser to the season.

That was on testing ground and the Fast Company gelding came through the field under five-pounds claimer Brandon Wilkie despite a tardy start.

Look Back Smiling has gone up 4lbs for that win and Thunder Roar reopposes on a pound better terms. However, with conditions set to be heavy at Redcar, Look Back Smiling can continue his upward trajectory, with Wilkie riding again.

The combination also won at Doncaster at the end of last season, again when it was heavy, so soft ground clearly suits.

It’s also worth noting that Look Back Smiling ran a decent race at Redcar as a two-year-old when he was fifth of 15 behind Ed Bethell’s Yorkshire, while trained by Ed Dunlop.

The danger looks to be Archie Watson’s Lambourn raider Noble Order, one of two Luke Morris rides. The Dubawi gelding bounced back from more than a year off the track by easily landing a class 4 handicap at Newcastle in February.

All seven races on the Redcar card are on the straight track after changes were made to the programme due to continued waterlogging on the round course, which caused the abandonment of a planned fixture on April 1.

Proceedings get underway at 2.12pm with the Flat Is Back On Racing TV Fillies’ Restricted Novice Stakes, and Brandon Wilkie will again have high hopes on Grant Tuer’s Indication Ember.

The Mayson filly was staying on well in the soft to be third of 15 on her debut in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster last month, and that form looks good enough to open her account.

Sticking with horses proven on soft, Glory Fighter, trained by Paul Midgley and ridden by three-pound claimer Mark Winn, could prove to be the answer to the Watch Live On Racing TV Handicap.

Winn was in the saddle when the eight-year-old won a class 4 handicap on heavy going at Thirsk last week and comes down a grade here.

The much-travelled Luke Morris has his other ride of the day on Serendipitous Lady in the Better Value With Racecourse Bookmakers Handicap for former South African trainer Dylan Cunha, who has relocated to Newmarket.

The filly won going away on soft ground over seven furlongs at Yarmouth on her penultimate start of 2023 and should relish the extra furlong at Redcar.

Michael Dods is another northern trainer in good early form and he had four entries in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Restricted Novice Stakes at the four-day stage. The Denton handler has left two in – Capellina and Moneypiece.

Cracksman filly Moneypiece never threatened on her only start when seventh of 12 at Redcar last May and hasn’t been seen since. Nevertheless, it’s interesting that stable jockey Connor Beasley has opted for her over the more experienced Capellina.

Beasley, fresh from a highly successful winter campaign in Dubai, also has a live chance on Gentle Ellen for veteran Thirsk trainer David Barron in the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Handicap.

The Bungle Inthejungle mare’s three wins have all come when there’s been give in the ground and she finished off last season with a solid second of 14 in heavy conditions at Redcar.

The final race of the day is the Watch Racing Replays At Handicap over seven furlongs. Blufferonthebus, trained at Easingwold by Craig Lidster and ridden by Sam James, shaped as though she would appreciate the extra furlong when staying on to be a promising fourth over six furlongs at Southwell last time.

  • Picture shows Gemma Tutty after riding Sweet Madness to victory for her mother, Karen, at Redcar in 2021. Picture: Barron Media