Harvey Smith used to be one of the finest and most famous show jumping riders in the world but now it is his wife Sue who is making the headlines and at Ascot on Saturday the 6 year old Wakanda gave her her 1,000th winner as a trainer!
Sue who 2 years ago trained the winner of the Grand National sent the hattrick seeking Wakanda on the 420 mile round trip from her stables high on the windswept moors above Bingley in West Yorkshire and the long trip was worthwhile for the horse led all the way and repelled all challengers to win a thrilling Sodexho Cup under a fine ride from Danny Cook.
It was Danny's first ever winner at Ascot so he was delighted but you've got to hand it to Sue Smith because she and Harvey run a no nonsense stable and are more frequent visitors to the northern racetracks than the splendour of Ascot indeed Sue couldn't remember the last time she'd had a winner at the royal track!
Gavin Sheehan, last year's conditional champion jockey and very much the up and coming youngster, also had a landmark success on Saturday for up at Haydock he won the feature race the Tommy Whittle Chase on Seventh Heaven and this was Gavin's 200th career win!
He led all the way on the top weight to win this gruelling stamina test and trainer Charlie Mann will now aim his horse at the Grand National and judging by the way he ran and jumped on Saturday he has got a major contender on his hands!
Back at Ascot there was a thrilling finish to the big race of the weekend the £150,000 Ladbroke Hurdle where Sternrubin and Jolly's Cracked It flashed passed the post together!
It was desperately close and the crowd waited with bated breath while the judge looked closely at the photo. It took a good 7 minutes for him to sort it out but when he announced "a dead heat " there was relief all round because it would have been a shame if there had been a loser as both horses and jockeys Richard Johnson and Noel Fehily gave their all!
But with great respect to all the above horses and jockeys there is no doubt the best display of the day came from Thistlecrack in the £100,000 Long Walk Hurdle.
Trained down at Wincanton in the West Country by dairy farmer Colin Tizzard he produced an outstanding performance to run away with this 3 mile Grade 1 race.
Last time out he beat the World Hurdle winner Cole Harden at Newbury and this win on Saturday showed that was no fluke and Thistlecrack is now as low as 3-1 to win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Tizzard and his assistant trainer son Jo are certainly looking forward to Xmas because on saturday - they saddle Cue Card in the William Hill King George V1 chase - the traditional boxing day spectacular - and with the way things are going they must fancy their chances of winning!
Cue Card certainly looked good when winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month and he will turn up on Saturday in front of a sell out crowd as one of the leading contenders.
The Irish challenge is strong and in Don Cossack and Vautour they have two top class steeplechasers who could well fight out the finish!
However Silvianaco Conti loves running right handed at Kempton and if Alan King decides to run his runaway Hennessy winner Smad Place he could make them all go!
Then there's the other grey Al Ferof who bounced back to form on his reappearance in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon and he looks a lively outsider.
Its a real Xmas cracker but Cue Card can win it and Al Ferof looks great each way.
Also at Kempton the champion hurdler Faugheen tries to win the Xmas Hurdle for the second year running and it will be the shock of the season if he gets beaten!
Meanwhile also on Saturday the traditional Xmas meeting in Ireland at Leopardstown gets under way with 4 days of top class racing featuring the Lexus Chase on Monday where Don Poli looks a solid favourite.
On the opening day watch out for a young chaser called Ttebbob who made a big impression on me when winning in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and if he runs in Fridays Racing Post Novices Chase he could make them all go!
Then on Sunday attention switches to Chepstow for their big race of the year the Coral Welsh National which is always a real stamina test.
Mountainous won the race a couple of years ago for recently retired trainer Richard Lee and the horse who is now trained by his daughter Kerry could well do it again!
And finally what a night at the Lesters in Birmingham on Tuesday night!
It's the one night of the year where the jockeys can officially 'let their hair down' as there is no racing for the next 3 days!
The Lesters which are the Oscars of racing - named after that great jockey Lester Piggott - are now in their 25th year and it was an honour to be invited by the Professional Jockeys Association to enjoy the night because I helped start the awards and remember hosting the very first one and quite a few others! I can tell you a great night was had by all!
Have a very Happy Christmas!