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21st December 2015

Plus 6 and dry when driving in.

At last the shortest day of the year.. Summer coming?

Shattering news yesterday that Alan Lee had died on Saturday.I only saw Alan at Ascot on Friday and we had a long chat. 

Alan was so positive and full of his recovery, but to find out that he died the following day was shocking.

Alan was one of a very few racing journalist who you could trust. He was always quiet, unassuming and thorough. He would talk about interviews with a passion and wrote accordingly. He loved his racing and he loved his cricket. Alan will be hugely missed and I for one only bought the Times because of his column.

Yesterday was a first for Clare Archie and I. We had lunch with my daughter Pandora in her home next to The Pheasant Inn where she and James Lovett live. A thrilled to have lunch cooked by her for the first time.

Last night’s BBC SPOTY was won by Andy Murray while AP McCoy won the big Lifetime Achievement award. AP said all the right things after receiving his award and did his sport of racing proud. The BBC do SPOTY well which must be strange as they surely have to buy all the sporting clips from other channels; Tennis was probablythe only sport they actually broadcasted.

Monday morning pitch dark for first lot. Second lot we were joined by Philip and Sandra Arkwright and Nanette Sellars who were down to see their two horse Mr Puck and Mr Beatle and their KBRP horse Our Belle Amie.

We had a couple of horses head over to Ben Brains for wind tests.. Running horses on this heavy ground has found a couple out so we are testing their winds to see if they need any help.

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Mollys A Diva has another try over fences. This 141 rated mare over hurdles struggles to find suitable races now so we are trying to resurrect her chasing career. For my thoughts on her chances please click here.

Knockanrawley does not run in Sundays Welsh Grand National. I made that announcement sometime ago and he has been scratched from the race. Why then do Bookmakers Betfair, Betfred, Boylesport, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Skybet still have him in their betting lists?

Talking horses out of action. Harry Topper, who would so have loved all this heavy ground is enjoying a season away from racing having injured his tendon at Newbury in February; HT is currently enjoying a winter in a warm dry barn..He will be back next season.

We turn our horses out as much as possible and for once yesterday the sun shone .. for a while anyway.. Pictures of some of them on the right

To finish..

Do what makes you happy

Be with who makes you smile

Laugh as much as you breathe

And love as long as you live.