The Midlands is already awash with an emerald hue and not just because it is St Patrick's Day on Friday. The Irish are here . . . it must be Cheltenham.
The horses will be put through their final paces under leaden early morning skies but, as can be seen here, the sun is trying to squeeze through the wintry clouds to warm their backs and the hearts of race-goers.
While shades of green bedeck the visitors to this famed corner of Gloucestershire, the annual National Hunt Festival starts today with the Supreme Novices Hurdle at 2pm, followed by the Arkle Challenge (2.35) before the big race of the day the Champion Hurdle at 3.15.