There is often a lot of debate surrounding the origins of Boxing Day, with many people asking the question: Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day? The truth is nobody knows for sure, all they can be certain of is that it is the day after Christmas Day and represents a time for celebration.
For most people in the UK, Boxing Day is associated with lazing on the sofa, finishing the left-over Christmas turkey and, perhaps, sipping on one too many Eggnog cocktails. For others, though, it is seen as one of the most thrilling days of sporting action of the entire year. The England Cricket team will be in action, as well as all the Premier League Soccer teams. However, there is one Boxing Day sporting event that gets the blood pumping like no other, the King George VI Chase. This is one of the most important horse racing events of the year, and has been part of the British Boxing Day tradition for decades now.
The King George Race, Boxing Day, is the centre-piece of the William Hill Winter Festival, one of the premier events in the horse racing season. The King George V1 Chase is held at the Kempton Park Racecourse, Surrey, on the 26th December each year. The race itself is a National Hunt Chase, meaning the horses must jump fences and ditches over a distance of 3 miles. It has been contested by many famous horses down the years, even some known outside of horse racing circles, such as Kauto Star and Desert Orchid. The Boxing Day Racing also see some of the UK’s finest jockeys and trainers in attendance, names like Tony McCoy, Fred Winter, Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins are seen as legends of the sport and have all played their part in the history of the King George VI Chase.
Of course, whenever there is a grand horse racing event like the King George Chase it represents an opportunity for those who like a flutter. The 2015 King George is set to run at 15.10 (GMT), giving plenty of time for the Christmas hangovers to clear up before placing a bet. Most Bookmakers’ shops in the UK are closed on Boxing Day, so the best place to get King George VI Chase betting odds for 2015 is online.
It is likely that most of the bets will be placed on four star horses in the big race – Silvianco Conti, Cue Card, Don Cossack and Vautour. The runners and riders have yet to be officially confirmed, but it is likely that these four heavyweights will take to the field. Silvianco Conti is the reigning champion and is going for 3 in a row, but he has been defeated by Cue Card already this season and many see the latter horse as the one to beat. Don Cossack and Vautour have the potential to be regarded amongst the finest horses of their generation, so whatever the final results say, a thrilling race is in prospect.
So, if you want something different from your Boxing Day holiday, the King George betting might be the thing to get your heart racing. The race, as well as the rest of the Winter Festival, will be live on Channel 4 Television in the United Kingdom, and it might be just a little more exciting than watching those Morecambe and Wise repeats again.