WE were spoiled for choice – there were three top-class Scarteen meets back-to-back so it appeared only logical to cover all three. With Christmas comes a choice of great hunting and with scent (that essential but illusive ingredient) improving daily, the omens were good and so it proved.

The hunt have just entered a purple patch of brilliant hunting, after what even their most fervent admirers would admit was slow start. However, even one good day is enough to dispel all moderate memories.