Excitement as we unveil our Christmas crackers

Well, on Tuesday, for the time ever I made an entry.

In fact, I made four entries, four entries in the name of Harry Derham for Boxing Day.

A small moment for every trainer, but my Boxing Day entries are the first I have ever made so it is all pretty exciting.

For some time now it has been the plan to have runners during the festive period, so I am hoping we are still on target for that.

When we last spoke, I was just about to go through the final three-and-a half-days of tuition at the British Racing School in Newmarket and, with that now under my belt, I am fully licensed and just about ready to go.

For some time now the guys in the yard have had a countdown board on the go until we have runners and, now we are well into single figures, it would be fair to say some nerves have materialised.

I suppose, the aspect I am finding the most difficult is the fact that I believe the horses are ready to go. My first few runners look superb and I’m very happy with them, however the frightening thing is that until you run them how do you know?

In essence, you don’t.

On a daily basis my head lad Graham assures me the horses are in a good place and we are ready to get started. This gives me great reassurance as he knows the Lambourn gallops like the back of his hand.

Their final few pieces of work seem to have gone well and, at this stage, it is looking most likely that Game Winner will have the responsibility of being the first H Derham-trained runner on the track.

That is obviously dependant on the next few days going well – but that’s the plan at the moment.

We plan to go to Huntingdon on Boxing Day and Joe, a dear friend and member of staff, is so excited he’s gone and bought himself a new shirt and tie. Hopes remain high he might even shave for the occasion.

For some time Joe has been a great friend of mine and we often joke that he is in work as my stress ball.

He tells me this is the first year he’s more excited for Boxing Day than Christmas Day which is cool.

He rides Game Winner every day and will be coming racing with me on the day all being well. The plus side to that is if he does not go well I do not have to look too far to find someone to blame!

There is of course high levels of excitement in the yard this week and that apart from the impending runners is mainly down to the fact it’s Christmas party time on Tuesday evening.

For some time I have always thought nothing says Merry Christmas like garlic bread and, with that in mind, we are heading to an Italian restaurant with the team.

For all my time at Paul’s, it seemed he constantly had the favourite for the King George at Kempton, so Christmas Day was never without nerves, but I should imagine this year could be a different kettle of fish altogether with my name on the license.

I have always been a nervous watcher so when the time does arrive, I do not really know how much fun I will be to be around, but this has been a dream for a long time to have runners in my own name so I hope that I can enjoy it a bit.

Between Christmas and New Year, I plan to have eight horses ready to run so hopefully they will show up well and do themselves proud.

The last few weeks been quite hectic with trying to get everything organised and prepared. From making sure we have all the right kit to go to the races, to getting paddock sheets sorted and ensuring all the horses have the appropriate paperwork in check.

In truth, without Amy my sister I’m not sure I’d have a license at all as she has been absolutely amazing, doing everything and making sure we are as organised as we can be.

“You worry about the horses,” being a good line of hers.

We do not have long to wait now until we get going and, whilst I am not expecting fireworks from the start, I am dying to do well and for my horses to look smart and run with credit.

Whether it is Boxing Day when I saddle my first runner or the day after, I am sure it will be a day I will never forget . . . hopefully for the right reasons!

Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas full of pigs in blankets, chocolates and not too many sprouts.

If you are at your wits end and weary of battling with too many people in packed shops then why not have a spin through my website and treat yourself or a loved one to a share in Nordic Tiger, my new Harry Derham Racing Club horse.

The perfect stocking filler I’m sure!

Go well

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