TIS the season to be jolly… so with tongue firmly in cheek here’s a few predictions for the next 12 months. January: Freddie Flintoff announces he is to become a flat jockey. And in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot, connections of Sprinter Sacre agree to give his rivals a one-mile headstart. He still manages to win with Barry Geraghty riding side saddle and smoking a Cuban cigar on the way round.
February: Freddie Flintoff insists he is on track to do eight stone. Kauto Star, now trained by Nicky Henderson, comes out of retirement to win the Denman Chase. Clive Smith and Paul Nicholls start a 50-man brawl in the winner’s enclosure.
March: Katchit and Captain Conan fight out the finish of the Arkle Trophy. But the little horse is disqualified for biting the ankles of the giant Conan. Ruby Walsh can’t choose between Zarkandar and Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle so he agrees to ride them both at the same time. Nicky Henderson wins every race on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival. All his stable staff quit after each winning £1million on a seven-horse accumulator. Bobs Worth wins the Gold Cup but is disqualified because his owners forgot to put an apostrophe in his name.
April: Hello Bud comes out of retirement to win the Grand National. Nigel Twiston Davies announces the horse will race on until he is 20.
May: Heavy rain turns the 2,000 Guineas into an equine swimming race, won by a hundredth of a second by Reckless Abandon from Dawn Approach.
June: Freddie Flintoff wins the Derby on Kingsbarns despite putting up two stone overweight.
July: The freak weather continues and Glorious Goodwood is cancelled after golf ball-sized hailstones leave dozens of jockeys and spectators in hospital.
August: The BBC announces it is ending horse racing coverage on Radio Five Live and the BBC website, but stresses it is 100% committed to the sport.
September: Clare Balding is fired by Channel 4 racing and is replaced by John McCririck as the main anchor!
October: Camelot wins the Arc for Frankie Dettori but he loses it in the stewards’ room after giving the finger during his flying dismount.
November: Big Buck’s makes a victorious return to the track at the Hennessy meeting but loses the race in the stewards’ room for having an extraneous apostrophe in his name.
December: Hunt Ball wins the King George at Kempton Park and flamboyant owner Anthony Knott celebrates by streaking naked around the all-weather course. Freddie Flintoff announces he is retiring as a jockey to become a professional cyclist.
Happy New Year!