SINGAPORE - How time flies - especially when you're onto a good thing. Yes, it's that time of the year when all connected with Singapore racing, puff out their chests with pride, knowing that - yet again - the eyes of the racing world will be locked on Kranji for the running of the $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup and the $1m KrisFlyer Inernational Sprint.
It's also around this time every year that regular racegoers wring their hands at the prospect of seeing some of the best thoroughbreds from around the world do battle live and up close.
There's more. It's when racing journalists and commentators attempt to become scriptwriters of a great epic as they attempt to pen a scenario befitting the big race.
It's when horseowners of Cup runners dream big dreams and when us, tipsters, try to wring every morsel of information from every possible source just so that we can make an informed selection on the big race. It is never easy.
More importantly, it's also the time of the year when the not-so-regular visitor to Kranji cranes his neck to catch a glimpse of pretty ladies in tight racing silks and more during this Singapore International Racing Festival (SIRF).
HORSESHOES AND SOME HISTORY
But it hasn't been all about the girls.
For those keen on knowing what goes on at the turf club, there's the Corporate Social Responsibility and Equine Exhibition that takes a stroll down memory lane.
Reflect on the Singapore Turf Club's milestones and learn about the club's efforts in contributing and benefiting the community and society, while feeding your curiosity about horses through the Equine Exhibition.
Replacing the Belles, the stars of the exhibition have been the club's four-legged mascots - Racer and Clover. Real darlings, these ponies were true ambassadors.
So you think you're the sporty type? Well, the SIRF once again challenged the public to test your arm and accuracy at the Horseshoe Pitching Competition - with the winner receiving a $2,000 cash prize.
Looking for something more gentle on the arms?
Then there was that opportunity to try your hand at the Sand Sculpture.
And, like always, it unearthed plenty of "building" talent.