While the nation winds down for Christmas 5,500 stable staff will remain hard at work preparing for one of the busiest times in the horseracing calendar with eight fixtures taking place on Boxing Day alone.
Among those hard at work is the team at 11-time Champion Trainer Paul Nicholl’s yard in Somerset who are busy preparing two of their superstar racehorses, Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux, for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. The pair are set to go head-to-head in the prestigious race at Kempton Park Racecourse on Boxing Day.
In a video, ‘Tales About The King George VI Chase’, Great British Racing tell the story of Nicholls and his team who are based in Ditcheat, Somerset, working tirelessly to prepare both horses for the Boxing Day special.
Nicholls who last year secured his tenth victory in the historic race with Clan Des Obeaux, said: “It’s fantastic racing over the Christmas period, we love it. Everyone has to work hard but when you have the chances in the big races, it makes a big difference to the whole team.”
Jockey Harry Cobden rode Clan Des Obeaux to victory in last year’s King George VI Chase, providing a dream come true for the 21-year old. He said: “It’s the one I’ve always wanted to win, growing up on Boxing Day I’d always watch it on the TV and to win the race last year was amazing. It’s one of those days I will definitely never forget.”
Cobden now faces the difficult decision of which of the two stable stars he will ride in this year’s Ladbrokes King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Clan Des Obeaux’s only run this season resulted in a second-placed finish, whilst Cyrname is coming off the back of a fantastic victory at Ascot in November which ended the 19-race unbeaten run of rival Altior.
Someone who knows both horses better than anyone is work rider, Scott Marshall, who is hoping they can provide him with the best Christmas present of them all. He said: “Cyrname is probably the complete opposite of Clan, he puts 110% into his work every morning. To win the race last year and to have two live chances this year is mega exciting.
“Of course, everyone does want to spend time with their family, but we love looking after the horses too. We all look forward to Boxing Day, which is a massive day of racing, and if we could have a winner in the King George VI Chase or first and second would be even better – that’ll be an ideal Christmas present for everyone.”
There are over 50 racedays across the UK during the festive period where under 18s race free, making a Christmas raceday visit a must do for all the family this holiday season. To find your local raceday, visit: greatbritishracing.com/fixtures
Supplied by Great British Racing with thanks to Racing UK and Sky Racing