Boxing Day weekend horse racing: Coral have it covered
The Boxing Day weekend contains two cracking days of horse racing, with the meetings at Leopardstown and Kempton, plus the Coral-sponsored Welsh Grand National from Chepstow being top of the bill.
Our experts have previewed every major race, but there’s no need to hunt around the Coral news site for them, as they’re all contained in this handy compendium with some other tips thrown in too.
It’s all about the King George VI Chase and Christmas Hurdle from Kempton, plus the Racing Post Novice Chase on day one of four over in Ireland at Leopardstown.
12:50 – Open Eagle
Has won and been placed in two starts since joining Willie Mullins from David O’Meara, and can take on favourite Altior here.
13:25 – Bekkensfirth
Trainer Dan Skelton said in his latest exclusive Coral blog: “He won really well first time over fences a couple of weeks ago. He jumped really well and we are really happy with him. He gets bottom weight in this race… so we thought it worth taking a chance. He’s in great form.”
14:00 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase – Native River
Sent chasing this season by trainer Colin Tizzard, and two wins from three since vindicates that decision. Fellow joint-favourite Tea For Two should fail to stay the distance based on previous evidence.
14:35 Christmas Hurdle – Faugheen
Looks a cut above on the pick of his form and a worthy red-hot favourite to regain the winning thread. Expect The New One to chase Faugheen home, however.
15:10 King George VI Chase – Don Cossack
A class act, so rates as a solid bet to land the feature race, though the rejuvenated Cue Card gives Don Cossack something to think about.
15:45 – Flying Angel
Worth an each-way wager as he’s proved he can stay over the 2m 5f trip unlike the market leaders.
14:55 Racing Post Novice Chase – Douvan
One of the most exciting horses racing this weekend, so expect Douvan to cement his position as favourite for the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
The Coral Welsh Grand National was due to be the showpiece race of Sunday, and we’ve compiled a stats guide to help punters decide on who to back, but the race has been postponed because of heavy rain and rescheduled for January 9th. Kempton’s card contains the Desert Orchid Chase, while the leading attraction from Leopardstown is the Paddy Power Chase.
14:35 Coral Welsh Grand National – Upswing
Looks to hold major claims of providing trainer Jonjo O’Neill his third winner of this. Last year’s winner Emperor’s Choice is a danger alongside 2013 victor Mountainous and young Cogry.
13:05 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase – Vaniteux
As Ar Mad likes being a front-runner, that gives Arkle contender Vaniteux the chance to hunt him down over this distance, especially if his hurdling form continues to be reproduced over the larger obstacles.
13:40 Desert Orchid Chase – Sprinter Sacre
Is back to his best, scotching rumours of retirement and Nicky Henderson was right to believe the old sparkle was still there. Major rival Sire de Grugy has something to find on Sprinter Sacre.
13:15 Paddy Power iPhone App Chase – Un De Sceaux
A worthy odds-on favourite that has won all four outings, including a classy triumph in the 2015 Arkle, since falling 13 months ago. Rival Clarcam finished more than 30 lengths behind Un De Sceaux at Prestbury Park, so this looks a banker.
14:55 Paddy Power Chase – Gilgamboa
Decent each-way value in what is looks a fiercely competitive and wide-open renewal of this race.
For more festive horse racing, check out our dedicated section.