The last time I wrote one of these letters, my main wish was to just get back racing again, so thanks so much for helping to make that happen. Now that we’re back to normal, I’m pushing the boat out a little bit more. Don’t mind if I do.
I’d like one of the four Group 1-winning two-year-old colts out of Ballydoyle to go racing with next year. I know the lads love Auguste Rodin considering he’s by Deep Impact and all, so I’m happy to leave him but I’ve always had a soft spot for Little Big Bear.
He’s by No Nay Never, and that sire is only getting going now, there’ll be loads of stars out for him next year, so I’d imagine Mr Magnier and co will let me get involved.
I’ve had a soft spot for the ‘Bear’ since he powered home to win the Windsor Castle. I think he could be the best miler around next year and just perfect for a little trip to the states in just under 12 months’ time.
And listen, tell the lads don’t worry. All I’m after is my own colours, my name on the card, and a share of the prize money. When the Bear is finished up, so am I. No one needs a high-profile breeding dispute that will still garner headlines two decades later.
Don’t get your blood pressure up, I’m not going to ask for Alpinista, or even one of her future babies. All I want for Christmas is a nice dinner, three courses with a good cheese board and a couple of bottles of decent Malbec. Oh, I’d like it in a private room at the Jockey Club Rooms please. If it’s OK with you, I’d like you to fill the table with incredible women too. I need a good mix of laughs, genius, irreverence and straight talk, so if it’s not too much trouble I’ll have: Marietta Fox-Pitt, Henrietta Knight, Kirsten Rausing, Cathy Grassick, Olive O’Connor, Christiane Head and Meta Osborne. Better make that four bottles of Malbec. Actually, you know what, throw Sir Mark Precott into the mix for the craic, just as we’re opening the brandy by the fire. Thanks Santa, you’re the best.
I can hardly believe Christmas is around the corner – time is just flying by – am I alone in wishing for it to slow down and give us all a chance to catch our collective breath?! In the true meaning of Christmas – goodwill to mankind and all living creatures – my main ask from you Santa is an end to the unjust war that has crippled Ukraine and affected millions – among them the world’s most poor in Africa where prolonged famine continues its devastating toll. It’s time for all peoples to wake up to the climate challenges evident around the globe and each do what we can – our choices matter!
Hurrah, a proper get together Christmas at last. What can you bring me this festive time? I don’t suppose a retrospective 1/100th share in Flightline is within your powers?
Considering for the last two years work and home and holidays were all merged together and sometimes holidays took a back seat, could you merge them together again and get me a ‘working’ holiday with more emphasis on the ‘holiday’ part. Saratoga in the summer, Melbourne in the autumn, that’s a big ask but since we behaved and won the battle with Covid, maybe it’s possible. And there’s a few little things well within your capabilities. Surely you can grant us all a small present that would delight everyone, saved for a few months’ time – that Honeysuckle comes home in front at Cheltenham for her three in a row next March.
Anne Marie Duff
This Christmas I would like a puppy and a pony please, not too much to ask. Actually instead of a pony, I will take a horse. There are a few on the shortlist but, as I know post-Brexit transport from mainland Europe to Ireland is difficult (even for you), I will take Kilkenny over King Edward. You might bring a few sleighs of cotton wool too, I am not sure how he will cope with the Connemara landscape, but I am sure he will be happy enough to pop around the 1.10m for the foreseeable. Hope you don’t mind, Cian (I can loan him back for Paris 2024 if you’re stuck)!