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Time races when you're having fun; Moscrop on Saturday Doug Moscrop plays Santa to the racing world and hands out his annual awards.

Byline: Doug Moscrop

IT'S that time again when giving should mean more than receiving. I hope my selected recipients of festive gifts in the racing world will accept them in the spirit with which they are meant.

LEN LUNGO (Trainer): An apology for not making the telephone call that would have given me enough encouragement to nap 20-1 winner Monolith at Cheltenham in October during my quest for the naps title. In an earlier telephone conversation he kindly suggested ringing him in the last couple of weeks of the competition if I thought he had a runner with a chance. Monolith was one. If only...

BRIAN ELLISON (Trainer): A case of Fosters ... or is it better Down Under!

TONY DOBBIN (Jumps Jockey): A rose garden.

KEITH REVELEY (Trainer): A Festival winner ... preferably at Cheltenham.

MARK JOHNSTON (Trainer): A copy of his biography.

FERDY MURPHY (Trainer): A guest appearance on the judge's panel for next year's X-Factor. At least he knows a good jockey when he sees one.

JOHN QUINN (Trainer): A pair of Russian running shoes.

JAMES BRENNAN (Commercial manager, York Racecourse): Fewer statistics about big race trends on the Knavesmire... just to relieve the boredom before racing.

NORTHERN RACING: A contribution to their prize-money fund for bread-and-butter meetings.

JP MCMANUS (Owner): A helpline to separate the wheat from the chaff of his ever-increasing string.

FLAT TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Alan Swinbank. Apart from his fantastic foreign exploits with Collier Hill, he has done well domestically, especially with Formal Decree winning the Cambridgeshire.

JUMPS TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Paul Nicholls. He finally clinched the championship after playing second fiddle so often to the Martin Pipe.

JUMPS JOCKEY OF THE YEAR: Tony McCoy. He's still the gem even though Ruby Walsh is precious as well.

FLAT JOCKEY OF THE YEAR: Ryan Moore. A rider with a big future after his convincing victory in the title race.

RACECOURSE OF THE YEAR: York. It's hard to fault the way they operate on the Knavesmire. It was the temporary home for Royal Ascot in 2005 and this year they staged the St Leger while Doncaster was being redeveloped. Both occasions were memorable.

RACEHORSE OF THE YEAR: Collier Hill. A rags to riches story for this globe-trotting gelding. He's won seven races outside of Britain, three of them this year including the Hong Kong Vase on his latest trip. It took his earnings past pounds 2.3m.

BOOKMAKER OF THE YEAR: Coral... if only for their cheque for finishing second in their sponsored Racing Post Naps Flat Championship in time for Christmas. RACING WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Margaret Charlton, wife of the Stocksfield trainer. At an age when most would have settled for retirement, she's up every morning around six o'clock to ride out. She's only 72!

QUOTE OF THE YEAR: "I suppose you'll be wanting a lie-in tomorrow morning." Alistair Charlton referring to his wife Margaret at my tribute dinner as the clock ticked nearer to midnight. How time flies when you're enjoying yourself!

A Happy Christmas to you all and a prosperous and healthy New Year.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2006
Words:513
Previous Article:Horse Racing: Singing Poet reaches potential.
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