I’m going through a quiet period horse wise.  Mon Michel is probably out for the season, and he was possibly my best prospect for this year.  Tifernati was bought to go hurdling this year, but he had a massive wart on his backside which had to be removed – he should go in to Gary’s at the beginning of January.  Astrodome had a rest after the sales but is in training now – he’s huge, and Gary refers to him as “the monster”.  With luck he’ll come out in February.  Theophrastus was down to come up on the 29th, but he tweaked something in his back today and that may slip a little.  Elsewhere in the Gifford yard Latin America goes nicely – Big Paddy is targeting a spring campaign.  Shepherd’s Warning is being retired and Bet Noir and Scrapper Smith were both sold cheaply today – Prince Ary comes to live on the farm for a while next Monday.  Viscaya is being treated for ulcers but is making progress and may not be far off a run.  Lilac Moon is over her injury and is in great form – she’s made real physical progress since her last run. 

I went to Tom Dascombe’s stable today for our Christmas catch up.  I saw my Mr Greeley filly cantering on the gallops – she seems to have a nice attitude.  Marine Boy and Max One Two Three looked well.  Shawhill has been moved to Duke’s Stud to join my other broodmares – we had her down to Manduro but we’re not so sure now.

Tom runs two at Great Leighs tonight – The Game and Noverre to Go.  They’re both favourite.  I think they’re both worth following – Noverre to Go is maturing now and may be a cut above the average horse running at this time of year, and The Game was impressive last time and is a straightforward ride.

I have King’s Head running in the 8:50.  All my horses with Gary Moore have nine letters in their name, as does Gary – I sense a conspiracy.  Gary trains Celtic Spirit, the well backed favourite in the race – he’d prefer not to be running two horses in the same race but both need a run and there aren’t enough long distance flat races at this time of year. 

Celtic Spirit is a nice horse, but the money’s come and he’s a very short price now – too short for me.  I didn’t back King’s Head last time but I’m more positive today – it’s an extra furlong and also the straight at Great Leighs is longer than Wolverhampton.  He needs to be held up for a late run and he needs time to be stoked up – it’s the right race for him.  He’s down to be sold next week, although we have a reserve – he’s entered for Dubai, and hopefully he’ll run well tonight and make a case for the sale.