Hello campers, hope this blog finds you well. I see the ‘C’ word is now being bandied about and before we know it the festive period will upon us quicker than repeats of Home Alone.

Kate and I have resisted the urge to put up the Christmas tree for another week, or if I have my way another year and, we are now in December, I thought I would share with you not only my news from the week just past, but also my Christmas wish list if you like.

These encompass three (maybe four) things that i hope will happen in December, whether Santa exerts an influence or not. Before unveiling my wish list, I am just going to briefly touch on the horses we ran last week who did not win as there were plenty of performances I felt worthy of a mention.

From Danny Kirwan who was only just ready to start his season when he ran nicely at Kempton on Monday to Darling Maltaix who finished second on Thursday at Taunton but is really starting to settle better and will continue to improve the more he relaxes.

Touch Kick also pleased us on Friday at Newbury when beaten decisively by Aso as I think there is still a bit of scope for improvement in him when he encounters three miles for the first time.

It’s odd that you would have two horses run on the same day and produce career bests despite not winning neither win but I felt that was exactly what happened on Saturday.

Newbury brace Kaps off great weekend

The sizeable Mont Des Avaloirs ran a very encouraging race to be a close third behind Global Citizen, while Brelan D’As finished second behind our Kapcorse. Both horses ran really good races in defeat and on those runs will be winning before too long.

Naturally, it was great to record a double at the Ladbrokes winter carnival at Newbury, with the beast that is Posh Trish doing her thing in impressive style under what I thought was an intelligent Harry Cobden ride before Kapcorse routed them in the Sir Peter O’Sullivan Memorial Chase.

Kapcorse is a massive horse who stands over a lot of ground and loves some ease in the racing surface, he is shaping like a very promising stayer and we all hope he can continue on the upward curve he seems on.

Whizzbang Wallop

We enjoyed a couple of winners at a soggy Taunton courtesy of Worthy Farm and Southfield Stone which made it an excellent Thursday but the clear highlight for us this week at the yard was Danny Whizzbang’s win at Hereford on Thursday for the quite wonderful Mrs Tincknell.

A big supporter of ours for a very long time, Mrs Tincknell is an absolute joy to have horses for, being a good sport in victory or defeat and always enjoying her horses. I know Paul was made up to train Danny to win for her on Wednesday, a win made all the better by the fact she came to Hereford to watch him. Danny is not going to scale any great heights over hurdles with Paul looking after him to go chasing next season, but it was an honest performance from a horse who I am sure will give Mrs Tincknell a lot of fun. We are currently training a new horse for her called Eritage who I believe is a name to watch out for.

Driving home from Newbury yesterday it was obviously the first of December and as the repetitive Christmas chimes of Mariah seeped from the radio I thought to myself that I’d share with you some of my biggest wishes for the festive month of December.

The first one of those wishes relates to this week actually, Friday to be exact, where we are hopeful a horse by the name of My Way begins his English racing career in the right manner when potentially lining up at Sandown. My Way came to us in the spring and since then we’ve become pals, I have ridden him most days this season and rarely have I found a more polite, good-moving fun horse to ride, I am particularly fond of him and hope that his talents will match his temperament.

Our flying grey primed to produce a Pol-ished performance

Wish number two is that Politologue runs a massive race in the King George on Boxing Day, which in all honesty the more I think about it I don’t see any reason why he won’t. He has an excellent record on right-handed tracks, has won round Kempton on his only race there, seems to travel really well in his races with his jumping, touch wood,standing him in good stead. I guess the biggest question is of course stamina but as we know he should still be travelling turning for home, after that, who knows? He is a wonderful horse though and while most are hoping for a white Christmas I am hoping for a grey Boxing Day.

My third wish for the month of December is that our team of staff enjoy our Christmas party, and everything else that goes along with working in the yard around Christmas. It is of course a very busy time for us and working hard away from home at this time of year can sometimes be difficult.
I would like to think though that everyone feels part of something in the yard and we can all enjoy the ‘season to be jolly’ as one group. I must admit there could have been a couple of sore heads this morning as I made my way round both yards with a ‘pre-Christmas, pre-Christmas party’ night out happening last weekend. I think that’s great though and could not help but laugh with Joe, a top man from our Highbridge yard, still looking resplendent in his dancing trousers while caring for his horses.

Our Christmas party falls on the 23rd of December, a night where Strictly Come Dancing meets strictly shouldn’t be allowed to dance, but I always think of December as a fun social month and hopefully all our team will enjoy it.

My fourth and final wish is a pretty simple one and that is the wish that all our horses keep performing like they are currently, we have enjoyed some great results so far this season with lots of horses putting in big efforts and running excellent races. When you are up early or it is raining or freezing cold or you are shattered from the daily grind of racing life, everything is that bit easier when the very horses you are trying so very hard for are racing well and most importantly winning.

All I want for Christmas is Mariah silenced

Of course they are my professional wishes, the real wishes for the festive season is that I, on a daily basis, eat my body weight in the Malteaser Celebrations chocolates, Mariah Carey loses her voice, and the recording of ‘All I want for Christmas’ is rendered redundant and Grandad stops wearing his orange chords with his red jumper. It would also be good if Mum does not buy a Top Gear Stig ‘soap on a rope’ and a ruler from whatever her last holiday destination was just to “give you a couple of things to open”.

Until next week though I hope you have enjoyed reading what is in my brain this Sunday afternoon and you have a successful week.

Go well, Harry.