Three weeks after one of the coldest Cheltenham Festivals that anyone can remember, National Hunt racing will reconvene in the north-west of England on Thursday afternoon, still in the warmest of overcoats and with the bitter wind a constant reminder that this is the winter code.
Talk of retirement for Kauto Star is "very premature", according to the veteran steeplechaser's trainer, Paul Nicholls.
The inaugural Betfair Super Saturday meeting at Newbury this weekend, which already has Long Run, Grands Crus and Zarkandar among its likely runners, acquired an unexpected fresh attraction on Monday when the Scilly Isles Novice Chase, which was due to take place at Sandown last weekend, was added to the card.
Fans are unlikely to arrive at Ascot on Saturday decked out in the racing colours of Big Buck's, as they would if Kauto Star was the main attraction.
The timing of Denman's retirement from jump racing on Friday may seem significant to the sport's more committed followers, coming 50 years to the day after the racecourse debut of Arkle, perhaps the only other horse who could have beaten him at his peak.
There have been many stirring days in the training career of Paul Nicholls, but very few that have left him almost speechless.