Boxing Day Horse Racing betting guide

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Last Updated on: 27.02.2023

The festive season is one of the best for betting, with so many UK sporting events occurring around that time. Horse racing is no different, with British traditional Boxing Day racing happening in many places through the UK. This article serves as an overview of all the best races on the day, including some betting tips.

Boxing Day Racing: What’s Happening?

With so much going on at the same time, it may become overwhelming just to process everything. There are a total of eight Boxing Day racing events, and figuring out which one you should go to may be a challenge. Here is a brief overview of every race; feel free to check out our more detailed descriptions of the events down below.

CourseLocationRace typeTrack typeFirst Race
WetherbyWest YorkshireJumpTurf11:52
Market RasenLincolnshireJumpTurf11:55
Fontwell ParkSussexJumpTurf11:57
Kempton ParkSurreyJumpTurf12:45

*The Sedgefield race has been moved to the Newcastle Racecourse due to maintenance.

Best Boxing Day Horse Racing betting sites

  • Brilliant site for horse racing
  • Many horse racing specials
  • Bet £5 on horse racing get £30

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets,  set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. | Please gamble responsibly

William Hill
  • Leaders in Top Price Guaranteed (TPG)
  • Frequent special offers and promotions
  • Very dedicated to horse racing

New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • One of the best all-round sites
  • Frequent offers including TPG
  • Livestreaming sports services

18+ - Offer for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and Full T&Cs apply. Registration Required. #ad

Coral logo
  • Amazing Coral Racing Club membership
  • Great horse racing promos
  • Bet £5 Get £20 in free bets offer

18+ New UK+ ROI Customers only. Deposit & Bet min £5 as first bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x £20 Free Bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Paddy Power logo
Paddy Power
  • Best Odds Guaranteed offer
  • Get up to £20 back if bet loses welcome offer
  • Excellent customer service

New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £10. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Huge variety of horse racing specials
  • One of the finest British bookies
  • Bet £5 get £20 welcome offer

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Variety of horse racing offers
  • Bet £10 get £10 + £10 casino bonus
  • Livestreaming on horse races

*New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Quality horse racing promotions
  • A great all-round betting site
  • Money back as a free bet if you come 2nd, 3rd, or 4th

Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements, bonus Spins only available on selected games and expires 7 days after being awarded. Debit card deposits only (exclusions apply). 18+. Full T&Cs apply. . Bet The Responsible Way. Full terms apply. #ad

Why Is Boxing Day Horse Racing So Popular?

Horse races take place throughout the year, but Boxing Day has a special place in many UK fans' hearts and since it is held at many different locations simultaneously, loads of people can get involved.

Boxing Day horse racing is one of the biggest days in the calendar year of racing. It really has become a tradition, with the first Boxing Day holiday horse race — the ‘Yorkshire Christmas Meeting’ at Wetherby — first being held on Boxing Day all the way back in 1940!

Kids Go Free

A great incentive to get young people involved in the sport, the kids go free incentive is also a great opportunity for families to have a fun day out together without breaking the bank.

The Kids Go Free offer is eligible for under 18s when accompanied by an adult. Some race clubs go the extra mile and even offer discounts for other age groups — one such offer is at Kempton Park, where youths between the ages of 18 and 24 only need to pay half price.

Be sure to check out if there are any particular offers at your racecourse of choice.

Betting on Horse Racing

It’s a perfect day to bet on horse racing — with are so many races and different events going on, the betting options are almost limitless! Betting on the races may be complicated, which is why we have our very own dedicated betting on horse racing guide.

The first things that should come to mind are bet builders and accumulators, which are great for this sort of event. With so many races happening on the same day, even a super large bet can be lost or won in just a few short hours.

System bets are also a very useful tool to give you the best chances of winning some cash. They may be complicated at first, but once you understand the concept, they really could give you some great value. Our system bet guide is excellent and may be just what you need to enhance your betting experience.

Kempton Park King George VI Chace Day

The second most prestigious horse racing event of the year, second only to the Cheltenham November Meeting, The King George VI Chase Day is a packed Christmas festival event. The entire event takes place over two days.

The 26th is one of the most interesting as it features three grade one races out of the six which will be competed in. The biggest event on the day in the UK, some other tracks will also be streaming it on their big screens.

Tickets are being taken up quickly, so we suggest that you book in advance to reserve your spot. Under 18s enter free while 18–24-year-old tickets are half price. The schedule of the day is as follows.

TimeRaceDistance (Miles)
12:45The Ladbrokes Get Your £1 Free Bet Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeple Chase2m 4f
13:20The Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Steeple Chase3m
13:55The Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle2m
14:30The Ladbrokes King George VI Steeple Chase3m
15:05The Ladbrokes “We Play Together” Novices’ hurdle2m
15:40The Ladbrokes Fan zone “Your Team Your Game” Handicap Hurdle2m 5f

Not only is it a great day out, with so many races it’s a great day for betting, especially thanks to sports betting apps, which make it possible to make bets instantly on your phone.

Sedgefield Boxing Day Racing (Moved to Newcastle Racecourse)

The Sedgefield Boxing Day race has been relocated to the Newcastle Racecourse. The main reasons behind this are to allow more time between races for maintenance, and it gives Sedgefield more time to improve their facilities for upcoming races.

The Newcastle racecourse is still a great place to be, and the action will be just as good as Sedgefield, so there’s no reason to be any less excited. The races haven’t been announced yet, but we’ll keep you up to date when they are confirmed. For now, here’s the most important information:

Gates Open – 10:00am

First Race – 11:45am

Last Race – 3:10pm

Youths ages 17 and under enter free of charge and booking can be done online on their dedicated Newcastle racecourse website.

Wetherby Racecourse Yorkshire Christmas Meeting

Steeped in tradition, dating back all the way to 1940, the William Hill Yorkshire Christmas Meeting is one of the oldest and most popular Boxing Day races around. There are seven jump races on the racecard, including the showcase ‘Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase’.

There will also be live entertainment as well as free parking, and free entrance for guests under the age of 18. It is advised to be early on the day due to high traffic.

Some of the enclosures are already sold out and the dining package is also sold out, so it’s best to get a move on if you’re planning on attending the event. Like all races, we recommend booking in advance to ensure that you have a place to watch the action unfold before your eyes.

With the exact times of the races not yet confirmed, here is the relevant information for the race day. We will be updating this once more information is out.

Gates Open – 10:00am

First Race – 11:52am

Last Race – 3:20pm

Market Rasen Racecourse Boxing Day Races

The ‘Rand Farm Park Boxing Day at the Races’ is the day event taking place at the Market Rasen Racecourse. It has become a family tradition for many Lincolnshire residents, bringing in large crowds on the day.

It will host seven jump category races, with the famous Lincolnshire National over three and a half miles race set as the featured event. As with other horse racing events, its best to book in advance as spaces are already becoming quite limited.

The event is great for all the family, with live music and many bars for adults, as well as a play area and face-painting boot for the young ones. Under 18s get free admission. There is also a new family marque which will house several festive stalls.

The race times still haven’t been confirmed but the most important information you need can be found below:

Gates Open – 9:55am

First Race – 11:55am

Last Race – 3:25pm

Fontwell Park Boxing Day Races

Fontwell Park boasts an excellent Boxing Day event in Sussex. Seven races will be competed in, all are jumping races and will take place throughout the afternoon.

Anyone under 18 is eligible for free entrance and the day is filled with activities for the whole family. There shall also be a big screen where visitors can watch the prestigious King George VI Chase live as it happens.

Similar to other races on the day, most details are still being confirmed. However here are the main details:

Gates Open – 9:57am

First Race – 11:57am

Last Race – 3:27pm

Huntington Day at the Races

Huntington Racecourse offer a great Boxing Day event, one which has become the most popular date on their calendar. The event features seven races and is represented by both small and large stables, creating an interesting mix of talents.

The standard of competition may not be as high as their Peterborough Chase Day, which also happens in December, but the fierce competition surely makes up for that.

With the schedule already confirmed, it is easier than ever to keep up with all that’s going on. There will also be a big screen for the King George VI Chase. Under 18 visitors enter free and booking is best done online prior to the event.

12:07The Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race3m 1f 10ydsHurdle
12:40The Brampton Novices’ Hurdle Race2m 3f 137ydsHurdle
13:15The Racing TV Handicap Steeple Chase2m 7f 129ydsChase
13:47The Alconbury Handicap Hurdle Race2m 4f 145ydsHurdle
14:22The Racing TV Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase2m 3f 189ydsChase
14:57The Merry Christmas Handicap Steeple Chase2m 3f 189ydsChase
3:32The Racing TV Open National Hunt Flat Race1m 7f 171ydsFlat

Wincanton Boxing Day Races

The Boxing Day event is by far the most popular date on the calendar for the Wincanton racecourse, with thousands of people flocking to the tracks to witness the great show.

Wincanton also offer a park-and-ride service for their event from King Arthurs School in West Hill, as well as free entrance for under 18 viewers.

The racing schedule has already been made available, although the exact time of each race may be subject to some slight changes.

Start TimeRaceDistanceType
12:18The EBF Mares’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Steeple Chase2m 4f 35ydsChase
12:53The Wincanton Racecourse Supporting #RacingWithPride Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Race1m 7f 50ydsHurdle
13:28The Lord Stalbridge ‘Festive Challenger’ Gold Cup Handicap Steeple Chase3m 1f 30ydsChase
14:03The John Heathcock Service to Racing Mid Season Handicap Steeple Chase2m 4f 35ydsChase
14:38The Eastbury Hotel Handicap Hurdle Race1m 7f 50ydsHurdle
15:13The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Race3m 150ydsHurdle
15:45The Wincanton Racing, Events, Golf and Footgolf Open National Hunt Flat Race1m 7f 50ydsFlat

Wolverhampton Boxing Day Racing

The Wolverhampton racecourse is located a couple of miles from the Wolverhampton Center and is a stunning racecourse. With seven races to be completed, there is plenty of action on the day.

What makes Wolverhampton unique is that it is one of the UK’s best all terrain racecourses, and in fact uses an artificial surface. Another key difference in the fixtures is that the races are predominantly flats rather than hurdles or steeples.

Tickets are selling fast with a number of areas and bundles already sold out. Buying a ticket online as early as possible is crucial as tickets may be sold out by the 26th.

Information of the races is not yet confirmed so here are all the most important details:

Gates Open – 12:20

First Race – 13:50

Last Race – 17:20

Most Notable Historic Boxing Day Races

  • King George VI Chase 2021

    Just last year, history was made during the 2021 Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. Tornado Flyer became the longest-priced winner ever at 28/1. This beat the previous record of 25/1 set in 1987 by French raider Nupsala. It was also the second win by Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

  • Bryony Frost Makes History

    In 2020, Frost became the first female jockey ever to win the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. A 20/1 outsider, few had hopes for Frost, however, she overcame the odds to win the title on her horse Frodon.

  • Henry Brooke’s Hattrick

    In 2018 Jockey Henry Brooke made three wins in a row at Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase. He did this on three different horses, and is the only person in the competition to win three times in a row.

5 Reasons To Bet on Boxing Day Horse Racing

  • It’s the biggest day for the sport in the calendar year.
  • There are tons of betting promotions and offers to take advantage of.
  • Watching the action live has never been easier, with so many events in as many locations.
  • The number of events gives you the opportunity to create even bigger and more ambitious bets.
  • Horse racing is one of the most popular betting markets in the world, with huge, in-depth markets to choose from.

Boxing Day Racing Promotions

Everybody loves a promotion; punters live for that little extra something that comes with a free bet or odds boost. Horse racing is no different with a number of sites offering some great promotions, especially on boxing day.

Welcome offers
A staple of any good betting site, welcome offers are a great way to start your betting experience on a high. There are countless types of welcome offers and betting sites to to choose from.

The most common form is a ‘Bet and Get’. BetVictor, for instance, offer a great ‘Bet £10 and get £40’ in free bets on horse racing. Others may offer a money back in free bets if your first bet loses. Each operator has their own set of term and conditions, so we suggest checking these out to make sure you get your desired promotion.

Best Odds Guaranteed
This is an excellent addition to any operator’s portfolio, and a perfect addition to your betting arsenal. What is ‘best odds guaranteed’, you might ask? It essentially acts as a guarantee that if you bet on a horse and the odds change for the better, you will be paid out with the better odds if it wins.

There are no risks to this and the only condition, which varies depending on the operator, is the time which you can place a qualifying bet. There are many betting companies who offer it and checking out which suites you best is ideal.

Bet boosts
This simple offer is generally applied to all sports and is very common during major sporting events. Bet boosts or enhanced odds are further incentive to get you betting.

Here’s a simple example: if a horse’s odds are 5/1, an operator will offer it as 7/1, giving you a chance to win big. There may even be bet builders with boosted odds.

Other offers
All the best horse racing operators will have many more promotions and offers for those punters looking for the best deals. With many enticing promotions, here are a few to look out for.

Run for your money – BetVictor – Nothing is worse than placing a bet only for you to lose before a race even starts. This offer gives you your money back if a horse fails to start a race or is considered to ‘lose all chance’ at the stalls.

Top Price Guaranteed – William Hill operator – This offer makes sure that the odds provided are the best in the market. If another top operator has better odds, William hill will match it ore even beat it.

Each Way Extra – bet365 – When using an each-way bet, you can choose to increase or decrease the number of places in a race. Obviously, the odds will be altered with the changes.

Boxing Day Horse Racing FAQs

Boxing Day racing includes eight different events, held in: Newcastle, Wetherby, Market Rasen, Fontwell Park, Huntington, Wincanton, Kempton Park, and Wolverhampton.
All races start at around midday and last until late afternoon. Being there early is key to avoiding traffic and unnecessary hassle.
Boxing Day racing tickets can be bought online at any of the racecourses’ dedicated websites. You may also be able to buy tickets on the day at the specific location.
‘Yorkshire Christmas Meeting’ at Wetherby was the first Boxing Day horse race in 1940.
With their dedication to the sport and thanks to their ‘Top Price Guaranteed’ offers, William Hill and bet365 are considered to have some of the best odds in the market.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

Boxing Day racing is a Christmas tradition and has been so for the best part of two centuries. Besides the great day out, there is an exceptional amount of value to betting on the day. We recommend going to watch the races live to really get into the action and place some more well-informed bets.