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Are You Ready for a Bumper Boxing Day of Horse Racing?

While other parts of Europe give their sportsmen and women a break over the festive period, those in the UK are not so lucky, with an expectant public always counting on there being a full football and darts fixture list as well as some top-quality horse racing.

This article focuses on the latter, with some of the very best racing action being saved till last, as top jockeys steer their steeds over fences and flats alike.

Here is what racing fans can look forward to on Boxing Day 2020.

Which horses and jockeys can run off all that turkey and stuffing to bring home the Boxing Day bacon for punters?

A Reduced Schedule is Actually Great for Punters

Normally Boxing Day is jam packed with no less than eight race meets up and down the land, but that has not been possible in 2020 due to crowds not being present, so the schedule has been halved.

This means that the meetings usually held the day after Christmas at Fontwell, Market Rasen, Huntingdon, and Sedgefield will all be shifted to alternative dates.

This puts an extra special focus on the four meets that survive the cull, taking place at Wolverhampton, Wetherby, Wincanton, and Kempton, the latter being the main highlight of the online race cards for the 26th of December.

With less races taking place this Boxing Day, punters can really zero in on each race to ensure they make wise picks

Making King George Proud

Thankfully, the mainstay of Boxing Day racing has survived this year, with the grade 1 King George VI Steeple Chase all set to take place on the 26th.

This is part of the Christmas Festival at Kempton Park, which a day later also plays host to the Desert Orchid Chase Day.

However, it is the King George that all trainers and owners want to win, and it takes place at just a little after 3pm UK time. The race is steeped in history having first been run all the way back in 1937.

Clan Des Obeaux has won the two previous runnings of the race and will be lined up to go for an unprecedented third. Can the Paul Nicholls trained gelding make it a hattrick of King George triumphs? Only time will tell, but there will be plenty of punters backing him to do so.

The Rest of the Jumps

If you prefer your racing to take place a little further away from the capital, then there are two other jumps meets on Boxing Day that will certainly keep you glued to your screens and form guides.

The first of these is at Wetherby, with horses stabled up north making the trip to just outside of Leeds to contest seven races at what is known as the Yorkshire Christmas Meeting.

The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is the highlight of this meet. Jockey Henry Brooke has ridden the winner here in three of the last four runnings, but suffered a bad injury recently so will leave it up to the other runners to see who takes the spoils.

Meanwhile, close to Glastonbury, horse fans will be rocking out to the sound of hooves at Wincanton, where once again there are seven races due to take place. The highlight of this meet is undoubtedly the Handicap Hurdle, which went all the way to the wire in 2019.

Wolverhampton for Fans of the Flats

With other races shifted to alternative dates, Wolverhampton is the only place to catch flat racing this Boxing Day.

Just keep in mind that the racing takes place here on a dirt track, which could come into play when you are making your picks for the afternoon.