A stormy end to 2016 with strong winds and rain forecast this afternoon, very mild now but temperatures due to drop sharply after this front has blown through.  A special winner at Kelso on Thursday with the lovely filly Jolie Crickette that we brought over from France in late September providing Lucy with her first winner since her comeback from injury and a first winner for her owners George and Jacqui Morris, and there are not many better places to have a winner than Kelso, most particularly at their well-supported Christmas meeting.

Queen of Avalon (left) and Jolie Crickette (2nd left)

We were also delighted with Queen of Avalon’s third in the same race but our others runners on the card fared less well; Jet Master was a little free early on and hence had little left in the tank at the end and finished a tame 7th, Gold Opera was out of his comfort zone from flag fall and failed to get into any sort of rhythm with his jumping and was wisely pulled up, Here’s to Harry jumped very well on his chasing debut until blinded by the sun at Kelso’s “bogey” fence and unshipping Grant Cockburn, Marlee Massie ran a flat race to finish 5th – he benefits from longer between his runs, and Calivigny didn’t jump well out of the sticky ground.

Jolie Crickette

We scoped a couple of the disappointing runners at the track and both were clear, the vets were very busy in that department as lots of horses disappointed – their view was that it was the holding ground that was responsible and I am inclined to agree.  So we move on to Musselburgh tomorrow where we run Landecker in the 2.15, a competitive race for an excellent prize he could do with the forecast rain arriving, Kit rides and 10 run, Lucy will be at Catterick where she rides Leading Score in the 1pm and Touch of Steel in the 3.20pm.

Landecker

And that will be that for 2016, the New Year beckons and with Lucy and Kit riding tomorrow, Johnny out on the town tonight and Clare off to Australia at 5am we had a premature New Year celebration last night, Mrs A came out tops in the Kinneston karaoke in the car on the way home but appears to be paying the price today.  Plenty of people are saying good riddance to 2016 and I’m inclined to agree, we lost far too many good people  and the world seems like a bit of a mess, politics of course never ventures into this blog but the two candidates put forward for President of the USA were extremely disappointing to say the least and either result was going to feel like a disaster.  As for Brexit Theresa May’s enduring silence on what is actually going to happen says all that needs to be said, a plan – what plan? But of course there were a huge amount of positives and amongst those today I was delighted to read that Sam Morshead and Rhona Elliot feature in the New Years Honours list, some faith restored in the system and Bob Dylan receiving a Nobel Prize was pretty cool.  All that remains is for me to wish you a Happy, Prosperous and above all Healthy 2017 and let’s just pray for peace in the world however unlikely it might seem.