The ITV Racing Christmas Festival
ITV Racing is offering a Christmas Festival with six days of top-class racing, over 18 hours of live coverage and action from 14 race meetings with 41 races shown in total.
Kicking off with the King George on Boxing Day, brought forward to the earlier time of 2.30pm, there is great racing every day of the period with other highlights including the Welsh Grand National, Challow Hurdle and Relkeel Hurdle in the UK, and Savills Chase, Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle and the Matheson Hurdle in Ireland.
Presenter Ed Chamberlin says:
“We have created our own Christmas Festival of racing both sides of the Irish Sea with a real bonanza of racing for fans to enjoy. Bringing the King George forward to 2.30pm is our Christmas present to football fans, enabling them to watch both sports!”
Ruby Walsh says:
“This period is one of the most important of the year for jump jockeys, perhaps second only to those four days in March. Many of the best horses will be appearing and the action comes thick and fast all week in both Ireland and the UK.”
Monday 26 Dec ITV 12.30-3pm – Live from Kempton Park and Wetherby (5 races)
Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (2.30pm) live from Kempton Park
Also on the undercard: Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (1.55pm, Grade 1), LadbrokesKauto Star Novices' Chase (1.20pm, Grade 1). ITV1 will also show the William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (1.35pm) live from Wetherby.
Tuesday 27 Dec ITV4 12.30-3.30pm – Live from Kempton Park and Chepstow (9races)
Coral Welsh Grand National (2.50pm) live from Chepstow, plus Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2 - 2.30pm) live from Kempton Park (won by Altior and Shishkin in recent years).
Wednesday 28 Dec ITV4 12.45-3.30pm – Live from Leopardstown and Leicester (6 races)
Top races include the Jack De Bromhead Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1, 3m - 1.45pm),Savills Chase (Grade 1, 3m - 2.20pm) which last year saw future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard beaten by Galvin, and the Ballymaloe Relish Beginners Chase (2.55pm) won last year by Galopin Des Champs.
Thursday 29 December ITV4 12.45-3.30pm – Live from Leopardstown and Doncaster (6 races)
Highlights include the Matheson Hurdle (2.20pm Leopardstown, Grade 1) which may see Sharjah aim to win the race for the 5th year in a row, surpassing Istabraq and Hurricane Fly's four wins in the race. The Neville Hotels Novice Chase (1.45pm, Grade 1) leads the supporting card.
Saturday 31 st December ITV4 1-4pm – Live from Newbury, Warwick and Lingfield (8 races)
NOTE - The Opening Show - 9.30am, ITV4
Highlight of the day is the Coral Challow Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1, 3.00pm), which Paul Nicholls has won the last two years with Bravemansgame and Stage Star.
Sunday 1 January ITV 1-3.30pm – Live from Cheltenham, Musselburgh and Tramore (7 races)
The Cheltenham action includes the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle (Grade 2,2.30pm), the Paddy Power Novices' Chase (Registered as the Dipper - Grade 2, 1.20pm),and the valuable Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase (1.55pm). Musselburghfeatures the Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle (1.35pm) and 'Auld Reekie' Handicap Chase (2.45pm). And completing the top festive action from Ireland, ITV1 will show Tramore's Savills New Year's Day Chase live at 2.15pm, won the last four years by Willie Mullin's multiple Gold Cup winner, Al Boum Photo.