We’re coming towards the end of 2019 and we won’t have many more runners, if any, after tomorrow night. Golden Valour goes in the maiden. He has been knocking around for a bit and has had quite a few runs to be still a maiden. His last few runs would suggest he’ll be competitive but he needs to improve to cope with the favourite. I underbid Narynkol at the recent Horses In Training sale in Newmarket and a maiden with his rating had added appeal as a race of this nature should be a penalty kick for him. He’s a huge unit that appears to be a bit ungenuine but I forgave him his tendency to finish weakly because of his size. Hopefully he’s just ungenuine!! I’m half joking. Our lad did well to get as close as he did the last evening after pulling very hard and getting trapped wide. He needs to step forward again. It’s been an interesting year to say the least. If someone had sat me down in January and asked me expectations, 6 wins wouldn’t have been my answer. We haven’t had the bounce of the ball at times and to have horses placed in 2 group 3s, 3 listed races, 5th in a Guineas and a Group 2 suggest we haven’t lost our marbles entirely. I have been guilty of errors of course, running moderate horses and placing horses poorly at different times but errors are part and parcel of every endeavour. Trying to learn from them is the thing I suppose. Beating oneself up about them probably isn’t. I have never experienced weariness like I have in the last 3 years, never felt as empty or as helpless at times and I have never been less well off. There is something about training horses that takes you over, consumes you so you know that to do anything else would be humdrum. The momentum that comes with a nice horse finding it’s way, turning into something, getting somewhere is like a drug, it counters everything and sustains the whole thing. A last winner for 2019 would be nice and then all eyes on 2020. I learned a lot this year, more than at any other time, hopefully it will stand us in good stead.