I SAW three ships come sailing in, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day. And what was in those ships of three, on Christmas Day in the morning?

Well the first ship was awash with Christmas spirit: goodwill to all men in the shape of several bottles of the finest Scottish malt whisky, plus one that was distilled in Wales.

I don’t know who mentioned that I was partial to a dram; perhaps I’d dropped it into conversation once or twice. But what a way to start the day!

In the words of Abba: Thank you for the whisky, I can’t stop singing; thanks for all the joy it’s bringing; who can live without it, I ask in all honesty; what would life be?

The second ship was full of the most delicious food. All the things that a jockey couldn’t eat, but a racecourse manager can – like pork pie and glazed ham (for breakfast), turkey, pigs in blankets and poached pears in spiced cider (although not all on the same plate – after all, I’m not a glutton).

And oh, the sweet treats; the Lindt, the Quality Street and the home-made nut-clusters enrobed in dark chocolate.

After a short snooze, it was time to investigate the contents of the third ship – packed to the rafters with wonder, taking the form of 10 magnificent horses running in the King George VI Chase at Kempton, which I watched on ITV. And all the angels in heaven shall sing, on Boxing Day, on Boxing Day!

On examining the race, one of the most prestigious prizes of the season, it was nearly impossible to rule out any of the runners.

It was just a pleasure to sit back and watch the race without a bet. Which is not the same as saying that the race inspired no betting interest at all – the winner was admirable, but the third-placed Native River arguably surfaced as the most likely winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, for which he is available at a best-priced 11/2.

And so, after all that indulgence and sofa-based sport, it’s time for some activity – a stroll around the track at Kelso where the going is officially Good, Good-to-Soft in places.

Is it time you got out of the house this Christmas? There’s no better way to do it than to come racing – we’ve got it all: fresh air, whisky (for non-drivers), fine food and lashings of wonder in the form of the equine athletes.

Then, of course, there is our selection for this week – the Lucinda Russell-trained Alizee de Janeiro in the two-mile chase at 1.25pm. And if he wins, all the souls on earth shall sing, on Saturday, on Saturday. And all the souls at Kelso shall sing, on Saturday, at the races.