Charlie's interest in racing first started when he got a job working at a high-street bookmakers in the year before he went to university. Four years later, having finished his degree in History, a career in horse-racing journalism provided the perfect blend for his interests in both writing and sport.
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A Festive Feast awaits us on Boxing Day as ten meetings from both the UK and Ireland fill the gap made by four days of enforced abstinence.
Grade One Chases, handicap hurdles and even a five-furlong novice contest on the All-Weather mean there truly is something for everyone.
With the action coming thick and fast, what better time to make use of bet365’s offer in which they give new customers up to £100 in Bet Credits upon opening an account. As usual, we’ll have tips and analysis for all the racing, including our NAP Of The Day.
bet365’s Welcome Offer Explained
Those of you who do not currently have accounts with bet365 can claim of up to £100 in Bet Credits.
In order to take advantage of this offer, new customers should open an account with bet365. Then, make a deposit of £5 or more and claim the offer to receive a matched amount in Bet Credits, up to a maximum of £100.
To release your bet credits, you must place bets to the value of your qualifying deposit and allow these bets to settle.
Your bet credits will then be available shortly after your qualifying bets have settled. Customers can now place bets with these credits, simply by selecting “Use Bet Credits” in the bet slip.
Where Can I Use My Bet Credits?
The King George VI Chase
Our focus will be on the action from Kempton, featuring four live races on ITV. Three of these will be Grade One contests, including the seasonal highlight the King George.
A fascinating renewal is in store with two of the most exciting horses in training going head to head in the form of Cyrname and Lostintranslation. Paul Nicholls’ charge toppled the previously unbeaten Altior when last seen and is officially the highest rated chaser in Britain.
He faces another seven-year-old in Lostintranslation. Trained by Colin Tizzard, the son of Flemensfirth confirmed himself as a stayer to follow when overcoming RSA winner Topofthegame in April. He has taken his form to a new level this season, turning over Bristol De Mai in his own back yard at Haydock last month.
It’s hard to knock those two contenders but for us the forgotten horse is last year’s winner Clan Des Obeaux. The gelding enhanced the Nicholls’ already impressive record in the race when giving the stable a tenth success in 2018. He returned to action with a highly encouraging second to Road To Respect when the yard wasn’t in the best of form. With this race once more the target, he’ll no doubt be spot on.
Kauto Star Novices’ Chase
Potential King George winners of the future are on show in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. One for the shortlist is Slate House who would have gone close in the BetVictor Gold Cup in November had he not fallen. He made amends for that mistake when landing a Huntingdon novice earlier this month.
That was far from the most flawless of performances however. The most interesting runner has to be the thrice raced Danny Whizzbang, who beat Reserve Tank on his chase debut at Newbury. The Nicholls’ yard won the race two years back and have an upwardly mobile six-year-old who could fit the bill this time around.
There’s still room for the hurdlers in the Boxing Day schedule with the Christmas Hurdle. A Grade One over two-miles, there are a couple of very interesting mares who could upset the favourite Fusil Raffles.
The lightly raced Epatante made light work of a mark of 139 on her handicap debut. She has room for plenty of further improvement after just four starts over timber. The tried and tested campaigner Verdana Blue looks one to take very seriously though.
She toppled Buveur D’Air in the race last year before signing off for the season with an impressive win in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Last seen finishing fourth in a Grade Three on the flat, she’s a classy sort for whom the drying ground is a huge positive.
Whilst the action from the Surrey course will be at the forefront of our minds, we won’t be neglecting the racing from across the Irish Sea. The Racing Post Novice Chase sees a number of hugely promising chasers go head to head at Leopardstown.
Willie Mullins’ thrives with his mares and he has a potential superstar on his hands with Laurina. She was a shade disappointing in the Champion Hurdle last term but returned to action with a mightily impressive win at Gowran Park, overcoming the useful Minella Into with plenty to spare.
This is a tougher test of her credentials as she goes up against the four-year-old Fakir D’oudairies. The gelding has jumped like a natural in his first two starts over fences, landing the Drinmore at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
Henry De Bromhead’s Notebook was a far less useful hurdler than his two rivals but he has quickly developed into a very smart chaser. He landed a Grade Two by five lengths at Punchestown in November and could represent value against the two aforementioned rivals.
Gordon Elliott has won the last two renewals of the two-miles-three Novice Grade One from Limerick and will be hoping to complete a hat trick with Samcro.
The hugely talented novice hurdler has gone some way to restoring his reputation this term. A facile win on chase debut was followed by a career best effort when looking the most likely winner of the Drinmore before meeting trouble.
Where he faced one of the youngest Grade One performers in training there in Fakir D’oudairies, he comes up against old-timer and all round legend of the game Faugheen on St. Stephen’s Day.
The multiple Grade One winning hurdler was far from foot perfect on his chase debut last month but eventually made light work of a big field at Punchestown. If he can tap into his hurdling form as he starts his fencing career at the age of eleven, he’d be more than a match for any young pretender.
Terms & Conditions
1. Offer available to new customers registering on or after 12:00 UK Time on 17th January 2019.
2. Make a qualifying deposit of £5* or more to qualify for a 100% matched amount in Bet Credits up to £100*. Your qualifying deposit is your largest deposit (capped at £100*) made in the 7 days prior to you claiming the offer. PayPal or paysafecard, where available, cannot be used for either your qualifying deposit or any subsequent withdrawal of returns from Bet Credits stakes unless you have completed Know Your Customer procedures (KYC) and entered a Postal Verification Code (PVC) or we have successfully verified two accepted forms of your Identity Documents.
For more details on accepted Identity Documents, how to complete KYC, or to upload your Identity Documents, simply log in to your account, go to Members then My Account and select Know Your Customer.
3. You must claim your offer within 30 days of registering your account.
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Releasing your Bet Credits
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Using Bet Credits
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