As all sports fans know, the 26th of December is the real Christmas Day with wall to wall action. We’ve broken down the best of the sport on offer that you can enjoy in the company of BetConnect.
Of course, the whole of the next week is full of sport to enjoy. Grab those leftovers and a drink from the fridge, sit on the couch and immerse yourself in all that we have to offer with out 12 plays of Christmas.
1 – The big race on the 26th is the King George at Kempton at 2.30. It doesn’t have the look of a classic renewal on paper but the record Paul Nicholls has in the race stands out. He fields two with preference for BRAVEMANSGAME (3/1) who won over the same course and distance on this day last year in the Kauto Star.
2 – The Hunter Chase at Down Royal at 2.33 sadly clashes with the King George. The quality is decent enough to grace the Cheltenham Festival and in fact a pair towards the head of the betting are also at the top of the ante post market for March. THE STORYTELLER (3/1) makes most appeal as the class act and with fitness on his side.
3 – A couple of outsiders now staring with Le Grand Vert (33/1) in the 2.15 at Market Rasen. He’s shown no more than modest form in three starts since joining Micky Hammond, his handicap mark falling 17 pounds as a result. His sole French win came right-handed as Market Rasen is and the cheekpieces he wore with regularity over there are fitted for the first time in Britain. That could lead to a much better showing.
4 – The final race at Kempton at 3.40 is a competitive looking handicap hurdle where JAY BEE WHY (18/1) can add to his solid course form. It’s fair to say he’s not really gone on to produce what looked likely compared to earlier on in his career. Beating a Grade 1 placed, now 155 rated, type on his point debut remains his best run, both wins under rules coming on soft ground. He’s hit the frame in a pair of similar course and distance races from higher marks earlier in the year and should still be capable of better.
5&6 – It’s the return of the Premier League season on Boxing Day. The 5.30pm kickoff sees Aston Villa at home to Liverpool. Villa have scored 64% of their home goals in the opening half while they have conceded 67% of their home goals in the second half. Liverpool have not been good on their travels this season, falling behind in 3 of their 6 away Premier League games. Even if they do so again, Liverpool have at least had a competitive game so perhaps will be capable of turning things around. HT/FT Villa/Draw and Villa/Liverpool at 14/1 and 20/1 respectively look interesting.
7 – Gillingham (11/8) have been absolutely dire this season, there’s no two ways about it. They currently sit bottom of League 2 but on Monday take on the team directly above them in Colchester. A majority share in the Gills has been sold to US property tycoon Brad Galinson who in a message to fans spoke about the importance of a big transfer window. The Gillingham players will be wanting to impress the new man in charge to keep their place in the squad. They have no better opportunity to do so than against a Colchester team who have taken a single point from 11 games on their travels this season.
8 – 2.08 Doncaster T3 Crystal Pinkys. Lacks a look here which is not ideal but she tends to run well pretty much everywhere on her travels. She has always looked like a proper six bends will suit her and gets the chance to prove that here.
9 – 4.04 Sheffield T4 Adeles Duke. The veteran is absolutely airborne at present, carrying all before him. This is a decent sprint but he has his ideal launchpad and race fitness on his side against a pair lacking one of those each.
10 – 4.23 Sheffield T4 Droopys Tess. Ran one of the top stayers in Savana Ruinart to two lengths last week. She dipped under the 39-second barrier that day which sets a strong standard here. The 3 has some smart form, including a win over course and trip but that bitch tends to need a good bit further than this as a general rule.
11 – The darts aren’t back until the 27th. The number 1 seed Gerwyn Price is in action on Tuesday evening facing Raymond van Barneveld. This has been an unhappy matchup for Price, losing the 3 times they have met in 2022, winning just once in eight, with one draw and six wins for van Barneveld. 9/4 for another van Barneveld win looks too big.
12 – The Chargers at the Colts is the final game of the weekend. The away side are 4-3 on their travels, with three of those wins by three points or less. The Colts have been poor this year and coughed up a massive lead at the Vikings last week. It depends how they react to that but the 5/4 Colts +2.5 might be enough to provide a bit of a shock if they can play like they did in the first half in Minnesota.