There's no better way to start the blog than by saying thanks to everyone for reading the blog all year and happy Christmas to you all!
Christmas is very different for us jockeys, and even more so with my battle with weight - there'll be no big turkey dinner for me! It's the one day of the year that I always just wish was over, I just can't wait for the racing to begin!
I've highlighted 5 horses I'm really looking forward to seeing over the festive period below.
Samcro & Abacadabras
Firstly Samcro and Abacadabras were too obvious to put into the blog's selections, but I do think both should win their respective races.
Samcro meets the absolute legend Faugheen, but if Samcro is as good as we think he is, he should win this really. As you all know he was very unlucky last time, but is none the worse for that. Faugheen is a big threat, but age is on our lads side.
Abacadabras ran an absolutely huge race last time behind Envoi Allen and while Blue Sarri will be a big threat, I've said here a few times I think he is very good.
5 To Follow Over Christmas
He's one who was in my 10 to follow for the season and I really can't wait to see him step up in class over Christmas at Limerick.
His work is always top class and he's been excellent so far this season. At Down Royal he really excited me and jumped so well. The last run at Navan was a bit of a non event really, but he still did everything so effortlessly. Hopefully Davy stays in Leopardstown and I might get back on him! He's right up there as one of the most exciting novices in our yard and Ireland really.
Thatsy was very good last time and I think there is definite scope in him off a mark of 131.
He'll race at Leopardstown on the 27th and I think he'll go very well in that race. When you look through his form this season it reads very well in respect to his mark. He chased home Latest Exhibition & Battle Of Mildway who are both good horses and this form reads very well now. I think he'd be one of the better handicapped horses we have.
The Bosses Oscar
To be honest he surprised us a bit last time when he ran Blue Sarri very close at Punchestown and is another exciting novice hurdler in the yard.
He doesn't do much at home and while we knew he was talented, we just didn't know how good he might be until that run. He should improve for that as well and will be interesting in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown.
The Church Gate
He goes for the same race as he won last year and he could well do it again even off 7 pounds higher.
I rode him to win at Fairyhouse last year and he's a horse with a lot of ability. I worked him last week and he seems to be improving. He's had a breathing operation and should improve for that. Matthew Smith is a terrific trainer and will have him primed to try and win that race again.
I really like this bumper horse and he has been working very well these last few weeks.
He has plenty of scope so when he starts jumping you'll see the best of him, but he'll pay his way this year. He has plenty of pace about him and is one I'm really looking forward to seeing in a bumper this Christmas.
Listen to the #racehour podcast!