A was for Aramon – leading novice hurdler landed the Grade 1 at Leopardstown
A was for Altior – the supreme champion two-miler (below) never put a foot wrong in a week of shock results
A was for Apple’s Jade – imperious in winning the three mile Christmas Hurdle – should she not be given a chance against the geldings at Cheltenham?
B was for Buveur D’Air – a shock defeat for the Champion at Kempton
B was for Bolger – Enda landed the Paddy Power with Auvergnant to add to Stand Up And Fight’s win at Down Royal
Clan Des Obeaux was for the new kid on the chasing block winning the King George (below)
C was Champ and Champagne Platinum – two impressive young hurdlers at Newbury
C was for Cromwell – Gavin had winners at the three meetings headed by Espoir D’Allen
D was for De Boinville – looked shocked to beat Buveur D’Air.
D was for De Bromhead – eight winners over the Christmas period
D was for Donoghue – a first Grade 1 win for Keith on Hardline
Luke, Sarah and Philip Dempsey after their Derrinross won the Grade 2 Sky Sports Racing Novice Hurdle. (Photo Healy Racing)
D was for Dempseys – a graded success with Derrinross – well ridden by Luke
E was for Elegant Escape – the Welsh Grand National winner and now Gold Cup outsider for the Tizzards
F was for Farewell – we sadly lost Carlingford Lough and Disko at Leopardstown
F was for Finny Maguire – three winners was a well done to the young Cork rider
H was for Hardline – perhaps the worst Grade 1 winner of the week?
H was for Henderson – and his band of novice hurdlers – Master Player, Champ, Champagne Platinum added to Angel’s Breath, Birchdale and Rathhill
J was for Johnson – Richard’s OBE was welcomed by all in racing
K was for Kemboy – transformed from a risky proposition over fences to a Gold Cup contender with a shock win in the Savills Chase
K was for Klassical Dream – an impressive hurdling debut at Leopardstown
L was for last fence – Leopardstown’s final obstacle proved costly for many in the chases
L was for La Bague Au Roi - another mare taking an open Grade 1 at Kempton
L was for Le Richebourg – probably the best looking winner of the week
M was for Mullins – Willie of course but Tom and David also enjoyed a great few days. Tom with Grade 2 winner Rocky Blue and David earning plaudits for his Kemboy ride
M was for McManus (JP) – a batch of nice winners from the young hurdlers Champ and Champagne Platinum to novice chaser Le Richebourg to Aubergnat and Stand Up And Fight
N was for Nicholls – Paul had a fabulous Christmas spell with two Grade 1 winners, Clan Des Obeaux and Quel Destin, Dynamite Dollars a Grade 2 and nine winners in total.
N was for Network – two impressive Grade 1 winners in Le Richebourg and Delta Work
O was for Owners – 47 different owners enjoyed success over the Irish meetings (not including syndicate) Great sport for all.
O was for odds-on favourites – many were turned over
O was for O’Grady – Eoghan landed another nice pot with Westerner Point in the Tim Duggan Chase at Limerick
O was for O’Connor – Derek landed his 1,200 winner at Dromahane
O was for outsiders – plenty of long odds winners with John Nicholson’s Benruben 33/1 providing the biggest priced winner of the meeting in the last at Leopardstown
P was for Patrick – Mullins - more than capable of standing in for the pros again on Sharjah
RIGHT: Sharjah and Patrick Mullins win the Ryanair Hurdle (Grade 1) at Leopardstown
Q was for top UK juvenile Quel Destin
R was for Relief – none greater than when Faugheen got up
R was for Richards - Nicky enjoyed another Leopardstown success
S was for shocks, a host of them with defeats for - Buveur D’Air, Samcro, Getabird, Faugheen, Footpad, Kalashnikov, Santini, and Limini
S was for Stand Up And Fight – a new name on the hunter chasing scene
S was for syndicates – Supreme Racing led the way with two Grade 1 wins – Kemboy and Aramon
S was for Simply Ned - five times a visitor and another Grade 1
T was for Tizzard – still at the top with a rejuvenated Thistlecrack and another string to his bow with Elegant Escape
U was for unlucky – Waiting Patiently’s King George came to an end through no fault of his own
V was for Verdana Blue – the mare shocked the champion hurdler for a Grade 1 win at Kempton
W was for Walsh – Mark was the leading rider at Leopardstown with five wins
X was for X-mas is over!
Z was for Raz De Maree – he’s got a ‘z’ in his name and deserved a mention for his Welsh National fifth at the age of 13. And now for some sleep..zzzzzzzzzz