Festive Racing Guide – What’s on this Christmas

Features | 6th December 2023

Christmas is a magical time of year – especially for racing fans. The festive period is chock-full of superb action with enough top-class races to satisfy the most enthusiastic follower.

It all kicks off on Boxing Day following a two-day break for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With a feast of incredible racing on offer, it helps ensure the sport ends 2023 in the best possible way.

Tuesday 26 December

Headline Act – Kempton Park, King George VI Chase Day

The Kempton Park Grade 1 is a real Christmas cracker. It’s been won by some of the greatest chasers from Desert Orchid and One Man to Kauto Star and Cue Card.

This Christmas, last year’s winner Bravemansgame will defend his crown but, after defeats in both races this season, he could be vulnerable to possible Irish raiders Gerri Colombe and Allaho.

Champion Hurdler Constitutional Hill is set to be the support act. He will attempt to follow up last year’s victory in this Grade 1 prize. His trainer Nicky Henderson has won this two-mile contest a staggering nine times in the last 13 years.

Kempton has seen many French winners on Boxing Day down the years. This Christmas it could see another with Il Est Francias expected to make the trip across the English Channel. Already a Grade 1 winner in France, he is trained by Tom George’s son Noel in partnership with Amanda Zetterholm. The best of the British novices lie in wait.

Supporting Action

Aintree’s new Boxing Day card features to Grade 1 Formby Novices’ Hurdle – formely the Tolworth. The William Hill Rowland Meyrick Chase is the big race on day one of Wetherby’s traditional Christmas fixture and there are meetings at Fontwell, Market Rasen, Sedgefield, Wincanton and, on the all-weather, Wolverhampton. With Sky Racing and RTV covering the action you won’t miss a thing.

Find A Fixture This Christmas


Wednesday 27 December

Headline Act –  Chepstow, Coral Welsh Grand National Day

One of the great days in Wales’ racing year takes place at Chepstow. The feature prize, again run in memory of Colin Tizzard’s daughter Kim Gingell, is one of the most thrilling races of the festive period. Subsequent Gold Cup hero Native River won it for the Tizzards in 2016. This year, Joe Tizzard’s The Big Breakaway is likely to line up against 2021 winner Iwilldoit, Coral Gold Cup third Monbeg Genius and Badger Beer Chase hero Blackjack Magic.

Supporting meetings

Kempton concludes it two-day festive meeting with a brace of Grade 2 contests. The Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase and the Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase remembers two of the stars of Christmas past. They both have a record of being won by some of jump racing’s best two-mile chasers.

There are also meetings at Wetherby and Wolverhampton.

Find A Racecourse Near You

Thursday 28 December

The Leicestershire Silver Fox Chase and the Leicestershire Bronze Fox Hurdle are the pick of the races in Britain. Leicester is joined by Catterick and Newcastle.

Leicester Stand

Friday 29 December

Doncaster’s Listed bet365 Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase tops the bill in Britain. There’s also meetings at Kelso and Southwell.

Saturday 30 December

Headline Act -Newbury, Coral Challow Novices’ Hurdle Day

Paul Nicholls will be aiming for a fourth straight victory in this Newbury Grade 1 contest. The champion trainer has landed the prestigious prize six times in all, with the likes of Denman, Bravemansgame and Stage Star.

Supporting meetings

The Betfred Last Fling Chase takes place at Haydock, with Taunton staging the Listed Byerley Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. They race at Wolverhampton on the all-weather.