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Christmas spirit is in full flow here after a good recent run for the yard.  

Ruby (my daughter) is in full festive mode and is really excited about things. 

She appeared in the yard this morning wearing a Christmas jumper and the team seem in good form considering it was the Christmas party last night.

As for the equine team, thankfully they seem in good form, too.

A good few days for the yard

Dalila Du Seuil made a really nice start with us when winning at Exeter last Thursday. She would have learnt plenty from that first run and I was pleased with the way she jumped. 

There is a nice Mares Chase programme to follow for her and she is an exciting prospect. 

Captain Drake made it third time lucky this season when winning at Uttoxeter on Friday and deserved to get his head in front. 

King Roland made it a double for the yard by winning his bumper in tremendous fashion. 

He is a lovely hose and I was delighted that he was able to convert his impressive work at home onto the racecourse.

His next target will be the nice bumper at Newbury on the 9th February.

Onto Ascot on Saturday, and our good run continued when Hell’s Kitchen put up a really nice performance to land the handicap chase.

I suppose we will just have to wait and see what the handicapper does with him now, but he may have to step up into graded company.

Our luck ran out by the time it came to Unowhatimeanharry, who crashed out at the eighth hurdle in the JLT Hurdle when tanking along.

It was so uncharacteristic - the first time he has fallen in 30 starts. 

Thankfully, he was completely unscathed even after jumping the fences in the straight and we live to fight another day.

Kempton on Boxing Day

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We have Bags Groove  in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (13:55), who has won his last three starts over fences for us.

He was arguably at his most impressive when stepped up to three miles for the first time at Huntingdon last time and I’m looking forward to seeing him back in action here.

The ground and trip should be perfect for him. This has been the plan for some time. 

It does look a really hot renewal with five of them rated over 150. 

Santini looked particularly smart when winning at Newbury, but we will give it our best shot.

If The Cap Fits  takes his chance in the Christmas Hurdle (14:30).

He won on this card 12 months ago and drops back in trip after his win at Ascot last time. 

That will have brought him on, but we have the small problem of a certain Buveur D’Air.

If we could finish runner-up to him I’d be delighted though.

Wincanton on Boxing Day

It will be a busy day for the yard as we have three going to Wincanton on Boxing Day, too. 

Firstly, Lightly Squeeze runs in the opener (12.20pm) having finished fourth on his debut for us at Exeter last month. 

He looked the likely winner turning in that day but didn’t quite get home, so the drop in trip should help him. 

The application of a hood will hopefully help him settle better early on, too. 

Black Mischief is back in action in the Pertemps qualifier (13:25) with Aine O’Connor taking over in the saddle. 

Richard Johnson gave him an unbelievable ride at Haydock last time and he is now 6lbs higher in the weights. 

Aine takes off a valuable 5lbs though and hopefully he will go well ahead of a tilt at the Final in Cheltenham come March. 

Finally, Jeremiah James will need to step up dramatically from his debut run for us when he lines up in the bumper (15:45).

We will see how he gets on, but he is likely to go over hurdles soon. 

Kempton on Thursday 

It is a long way off, but I am likely to have three runners at Kempton on Thursday.

Olympic Odyssey is likely to make his hurdling debut for us in the opener (12.50). He goes nicely at home. 

Momella is likely to take her chance off top-weight in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13:55).

It was a bit strange at Newbury last time as she seemed to knuckle over having jumped the flight okay. Thankfully she was fine, and I am hoping she can get back on track here. 

Finally, Just A Sting will take his chance in the three mile handicap chase (15:05).

He has been in great form this season having won his last two, but is 12lbs higher now.

Hopefully he should go close again.

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