Over the stable door: My New Year's training resolution for 2011

My son, Felix, and I celebrated New Year in Newcastle, visiting the pantomime with a friend who hunts the Tynedale hounds near Hexham.

He has a five-year-old daughter and the two of them were getting on a treat – until a Lego spaceship crash landed on the dolls' tea party.

We followed the hunt on foot next morning hangover-free, I was literally blown away among the harsh beauty and wildness of the Northumberland moorland. A fellow foot follower

was at pains to explain she had already broken her New Year resolution to quit smoking after only a few hours.

Puffing away on a Marlboro light, she maintained: "It's such a dark, damp time of year to purge oneself."

I never make resolutions. Once I decide something needs changing my spontaneous streak emerges, there's no waiting until the eve of a new year to take action.

If I was forced to make one it should be to sort my bank balance out every December, which seems to surpass the red and settle itself firmly in the brown for at least a few months when bills are falling through my letterbox faster than Katie Price changes her hair colour.

I asked some fellow Yorkshire folk what resolutions they were hoping to stick to.

The comeback king, jockey Dominic Elsworth, has a differnt sport on his mind and admitted his golf swing needed some attention.

"I seem to have in and out form on the golf course so it would be nice if I could bring my handicap down." He then declined to divulge what this is for fear that his weighing room colleagues may mock.

Phil Davies, the Bradford MP and racing owner, resolves he will not be talked into buying another horse by trainer Mick Easterby, "…although I seem to say that every year" he pondered. I'm sure Mick already has it down as a done deal.

The Ripon trainer Maxine Stirk and her husband Anthony, a prominent veterinary surgeon, could never be described as a conventional couple.

Both would like to spend more time in bed, despite a hectic workload and their resolution is to devise a method of training horses without having to emerge from under the duvet.

They could always park their king size four poster next to the gallops. It would certainly be a move that would keep the jockeys interested.

As for point-to-pointing, with the first Yorkshire meeting postponed until January 23 we have a chance to get the horses fit to run after the recent setbacks because of the severe weather.

I have hopes for an ex-pointer who was out of sorts last year, Once Before.

When healthy, he loves the game and is very accurate over a fence. I have never known him better than he is at present. Having wona maiden race he is eligible for Restricteds (winner of one) giving him a terrific chance.

A number of reputable horses, purchased this summer, are ready to be unleashed on the circuit. Some will relish the drop in class while others may suit carrying less weight and are ones to watch.

Amicelli, owned by Ladies Champion Jacqueline Coward would be my pick for Ladies races. Despite being small he has a big heart and he won the Cheltenham Foxhunters in 2008.

Portavadie may be another with every chance of returning to his best in Novice riders races.

Trained previously by Malcolm Jefferson, where he won four races, he is now in the hands of work rider Charles Clark and seems to be enjoying time away from a professional racing yard.

One of my Yorkshire Point to Point Club horses, On Y Va is back in rude health after fracturing his knee last year. My little pocket rocket won two of his three starts.

I hope our first outing back on the course proves as successful as our last one.

CW 8/1/11