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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Going updates and everything else you need for the holiday bonanza

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This is what Christmas is all about. This is a day full to bursting with racing, headed by the latest installment of one of the sport's great races.

Some of the very best horses to ever jump a fence feature on the 32Red King George VI Chase roll of honour and by around 3.15 this afternoon, there could be a new name joining the likes of Desert Orchid and Kauto Star.

There is intrigue and talent aplenty for this year's renewal, as there should be, but this is no one-race afternoon. The Christmas Hurdle, also at Kempton, affords us another opportunity to see last season's Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'Air, while there is competitive racing absolutely everywhere you look.

Across Britain and Ireland, there are no fewer than 11 meetings, so whether the plan is to head to the nearest track or bed in on the sofa, here is everything you need to know.

Going report

Kempton first race 12.45

Good to soft, soft in places (GoingStick Chase: 6.4; Hurdle 6.1). The chase course is on its innermost configuration. The winter hurdle course is four yards out from its innermost configuration, and the effect on distances is calculated as follows: race one – 2m winter hurdle Start, add 22 yards; race four – 2m Winter Hurdle Start, add 22 yards; race 6 – 2m5f Winter Hurdle Start; add 32 yards.

Leopardstown 12.15

Yielding, good in places

Huntingdon 11.40

Good to soft, soft in places (GoingStick Chase 6.6; Hurdle 6.9 on Tuesday at 6am). The rail has been moved to provide fresh racing ground. The chase rail is on the innermost position and the hurdle rail is out eight yards adding: races one, two and four – 48 yards; races six and eight – 40 yards.

Sedgefield 11.55

Soft, good to soft in places (GoingStick Chase: 6.8; Hurdle 7.0 on Tuesday at 6am). Shared bends with hurdles sited towards the centre of the track to provide as much fresh ground as possible. Race distance changes: races one, four and six – 63 yards; race two – 29 yards; races three and seven – 51 yards; race five – 35 yards.

Wetherby 12.00

Soft, good to soft in places (GoingStick Chase 6.0; Hurdle 6.3 on Monday at 11.30am). The shared 'A1' bend is located 20 yards out from its innermost line. The separate 'away' chase and hurdle bends are both 14 yards from their innermost lines. Race distances affected as follows: races one, three and four – add 102 yards; races two, five and six – add 204 yards; race seven – 102 yards.

Market Rasen 12.05

Soft, good to soft in places on the hurdle course (GoingStick Chase 5.7; Hurdle 6.0 on Tuesday at 8am). Distances as published.

Wolverhampton 12.05


Down Royal 12.10

Heavy, soft in places

Fontwell 12.20

Soft, heavy in places (GoingStick 5.7 on Tuesday at 6am). 96 yards to be added to races one, two, three, four, five and seven. 144 yards to be added to race six.

Wincanton 12.25

Heavy, soft in places (GoingStick 5.8 on Tuesday at 8.45am). Both tracks moved out onto fresh ground. The hurdle on the stables bend will be omitted. Distances as follows: races one and two – add 48 yards; race three – add 72 yards; race four – add 68 yards; races five and seven – add 34 yards; race six – add 52 yards.

Limerick 12.35


Market movers

Huntingdon 1.50 Bestwork 5-1 (from 6-1)

Fontwell 2.35 Notre Ami 5-1 (from 11-2)

Kempton 3.40 Kildisart 7-2 (from 9-2)

What to back

The Postcast team are on the hunt for Christmas winners and shared their thoughts on all the big-race action.

If you don't have enough time for that, then here are a couple of quickfire tips.

What to read

David Carr sets the scene for one of the best days in the racing calendar in Opening Show. Read our contender pieces for the stars lining up in the King George VI Chase, while Willie Mullins and Sam Twiston-Davies provide the lowdown on their chances this afternoon.

What to watch

Might Bite will be a popular pick for the King George this afternoon. Get Nicky Henderson's thoughts on his talented chaser here.

Maybe Bristol De Mai is your pick for the big one. Here's his trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The best of Racing Post Sport

There is also a bumper of day of action in the Premier League – Dan Childs provides his best bets for Tottenham v Southampton.

Dan Childs and Ian Wilkerson pinpoint the value for the televised EFL action with Burton v Leeds and Brentford v Aston Villa on Sky Sports.

Final thought 

This is a big day for all concerned in the King George but it is arguably the Nigel Twiston-Davies team for whom it is the most significant. Not only does Bristol De Mai have the opportunity to keep the £1 million triple crown dream alive but there are still those who remain unconvinced the horse is truly top class, despite his Betfair Chase demolition job.

He has the chance to silence those doubters today and if he can claim a famous win, the near £130,000 prize for first place would further aid his trainer's title bid.

Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news


This is a big day for all concerned in the King George but it is arguably the Nigel Twiston-Davies team for whom it is the most significant
E.W. Terms
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