Talking points from Boxing Day’s racing

Talking points from Boxing Day's racing

The festive period means there is a plethora of National Hunt meetings on to give horse racing fans their fix. To wrap up the competitive year of 2021, which had some thoroughly entertaining races and plenty of upsets to the annual King George VI Chase and other Grade One races were in full swing to end the Christmas festivities in style. As usual, the form guide went completely out the window to upset the Paddy Power horse racing results and if some of these races are anything to go by, 2022 will have plenty more shocks in store for us. Read on, as we break down what happened over Boxing Day’s biggest horse races.

Henderson stands tall in Christmas Hurdle

The second leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling, there is a big deal around the Christmas Hurdle as one of the most important Grade One races of the festive period. Last year’s race, won by Adam Wedge’s Silver Streak, was ran behind closed doors but this year a capacity crowd was on hand to support the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante as he picked up the top prize.

With lots of talk pre-race over Glory And Fortune, after strong performances at Newbury and Cheltenham back in November, seven-year-old Epatante was somewhat overlooked before the start of the race. But he certainly lived up to expectations, ending the year with a big win and another personal accolade for Henderson.

Upset in the King George

The King George really is what Boxing Day racing is all about. The camaraderie of a day at the races quickly goes out the window in the competitive three-mile event at Kempton Park. This year, a surprise was on the cards as 28/1 outsider Tornado Flyer picked up win that would shock any bookies offering fast racing results. The Willie Mullins-trained horse, who was jockeyed by son Danny, put in a spectacular performance worthy of the legendary trainer’s pedigree to see off the likes of Clan Des Obeaux and Saint Calvados in a surprise turn of events

“Winning a King George is something you dream about. You look at the likes of Kauto Star and the other horses that have won it. For Tornado Flyer to go and put in a performance like that is magic.” Mullins junior said: “I got into a good position early and he travelled into the race very well. I just wanted to keep saving a bit as it’s a long way down the straight here and thankfully I had a willing partner, which is what it’s all about.

“I knew I wasn’t out of it – I was cautiously optimistic that he’d run a good race. On the best of his form it’s in there and when he gets it all together he’s a proper good horse. He’s proved that today in such a competitive race.”

Bravemansgame still unbeaten over fences

It was a record-equalling fifth successive victory in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase for Bravemansgame as the Paul Nicholls-trained horse continues to dominate the competition. Still unbeaten over fences, the seven-year-old lived up to his favourites status and annihilated the rest of the competition to secure a memorable win in remarkable fashion. Certainly a horse to look out for in the coming months, it’s a twelfth Kauto Star title for Nicholls adding to victories with Breedsbreeze and Black Corto.

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