Breezy and damp today, mild but ominous signs of frost round the corner.  Our three Saturday runners were all placed; at Newcastle Christmas in USA stayed on into 4th looking like he would be better over further – at least this is an option now he is seeing out his races, Elvis Mail ran a lovely race on his debut to also finish 4th – there will be plenty more to come from him.  Over at Haydock Lake View Lad went well to finish 3rd in the “Tommy Whittle” though for me he ran a little flat and is definitely capable of better, whether this came a little soon after his Newcastle win or it was the sticky ground or that he didn’t really eat or drink overnight I’m not sure – I suspect a combination but he still ran a big race.  It’s been a fairly frantic few weeks and whilst I may have felt a little weary having overseen first lot prior to zooming down to Haydock and back I really take my hat off to what the team here have achieved.

Despite being four people down at this busy time of year they managed to follow up a long day at Ayr on Friday with runners at two venues on Saturday – all the horses were turned out immaculately and on time with the minimum of fuss and back at base all the horses have been exercised properly and looked after diligently every day, it’s all down to sheer hard work and commitment and I’m extremely grateful to each and every one of them.

It’s no coincidence that we have one member of the team short-listed for the 2018 Godolphin Stable Staff Awards and that the whole team has made the final four for the inaugural Lycetts Team Challenge Award; to be recognised nationally  in this way is a huge credit to the team and especially to Catch who somehow found time to organise the nominations amidst the myriad of other tasks she has every day.

A well deserved quiet few days for the team before we hope to be very busy towards the end of next week at Kelso and Haydock, weather permitting of course, meantime Lucy heading to Huntingdon on Boxing Day to ride Strike the Pose in the Mares Listed Bumper, assuming her arm is sorted by then and I’m planning a flying visit to Lambourn to pick up a few hints…. Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for reading this blog, and to finish on a humorous note can’t resist sharing this email received just after Craiganboy ran at Ayr on Friday – “totally baffled at your choice of jockey everyone knows that hughes is a bad jockey y didn’t you use one of your own as they are far better jockeys than hughes and they ride with total honesty” – hmm, I think he’s quite a good substitute actually.