From everyone at Bar One Racing, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. A quick reminder, our shops will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but when we reopen our doors on St. Stephen’s Day, we are set for a festive feast of the very finest of sporting drama.
There are no less than ELEVEN Irish/British Horse Racing meetings taking place on December 26th (Tue) with the King George at Kempton (2.30) the annual highlight.
Six top-class operators have been confirmed for the Grade One with favourite Allaho seeking a fifth Grade One success with trainer Willie Mullins springing a 28/1 upset in this race two seasons ago with Tornado Flyer, the first Irish winner of the race since Kicking King in 2004 & 2005 for trainer Tom Taaffe.
Last year’s winner Bravemansgame will bid to bounce back from two lacklustre runs while all eyes will be on Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin who refused to race when last seen at Ascot.
“Shark” Hanlon’s Hewick adds further Irish intrigue with Cheltenham specialist The Real Whacker and the veteran Frodon make up the select field of six.
The King George is one of three Grade One’s on the Kempton card with the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase taking place at 1.20 while at 1.55 we’ll see the unbeaten Champion Hurdle hero Constitution Hill strutting his stuff in the Christmas Hurdle.
Down Royal will set the wheels in motion from 11.40am with a seven race card while Leopardstown and Limerick host the opening days of their respective Christmas Festivals.
There is Grade One action on the Leopardstown card at 2.20 with Facile Vega facing Found A Fifty, My Mate Mozzie and Sharjah in another small-field but high class top tier event (Racing Post Novice Chase).
The Tolworth Hurdle is Aintree‘s Grade One feature at 1.05 with Gordon Elliott set to send the recent Bar One Racing Royal Bond winner Farren Glory across for an Irish raid in Liverpool.
Sedgefield, Wetherby, Fontwell, Market Rasen, Wincanton and Wolverhampton all race that afternoon.
Sadly, the tradition of all 20 Premier League teams playing the day after Christmas appears to have faded away in the age of stagnated TV coverage but there will be five matches taking place, the fixtures are as follow:
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest (12.30), Sheffield United v Luton Town (3.00), Bournemouth v Fulham (3.00), Burnley v Liverpool (5.30), Man United v Aston Villa (8.00).
Also, don’t forget that on Christmas Eve, for the first time ever, a Premier League game will take place with Wolves hosting Chelsea (1.00).
There’s an inter-provincial derby in the United Rugby Championship on St. Stephen’s day as Munster hosts Leinster (7.35). A win for Leinster would see them go top of the URC standings with what would be a 7th competition victory from eight games played.
The PDC World Darts Championship returns on Wednesday, Dec 27th with 16-year-old sensation Luke Littler creating a real buzz prior to the Christmas break. The teenager is as short as 9/1 (at the time of writing) to replicate his PDC World Youth Championship success in the senior ranks at Alexander Palace.
Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith, Michael Van Gerwyn and Raymond Van Barneveld are all among some of the star names who have already booked their ticket back to Ally Pally post Christmas.
For those of you who can’t make it through the big day on Monday without some sort of live sport, there are three NBA matches taking place Stateside on Christmas Day (markets here) while the good old US of A also serves up three matches in the NFL (betting can be found here).
So no matter what your taste when it comes to sport, there’s something under the tree for everyone this Christmas and we’ve got it all covered here at Bar One Racing.
Have a wonderful Sports-filled Christmas and New Year!