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Why Boxing Day is a Massive Day for Sports in the UK


Whoever came up with the idea of Boxing Day deserves a medal in my book. After the excitement of Christmas Eve, the feasting, drinking and festivities of Christmas Day, the last thing people needed was to be heading off to work with a hangover of seismic proportions throbbing in their head. Hence, that Boxing Day bank holiday often proves to be a godsend.

It is also a godsend too for the sports betting fan as it is traditionally a day for (or the start of) some massive sports events across the UK and worldwide. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the big events taking place or starting on Boxing Day.

Of course, you’ll need a reliable bookmaker to enjoy the best of the Boxing Day betting with and there’s no better place to join at the moment than Coral Sports. As a new customer, you can deposit just £10 and receive £30 worth of free bets. Another option is to join another Coral site with a different offer, Coral Vegas for example offers you a £10 no deposit required bonus simply for signing up. You can then use your activated Coral account to add some more cash to wager on Coral Sports too.

Once you’ve signed up you’ll be ready to go with all of these big sporting events either starting or continuing on Boxing Day.

The Ashes – Fourth Test

England’s performances in Australia haven’t set the world alight so far and Joe Root will be wanting a response from his men in the fourth test match of the series which takes place, as always in an Australian Ashes series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day UK Time.

The ground will be packed with home fans hoping that their team can stomp England into the ground regardless of what the score in the series is at this point and the way Steve Smith has captained his side in the series, he will be expecting another win here.

We’ve no doubt that given their excellent record in this fixture that Australia will be odds on to win the match with Coral and England will be the rank outsiders, but given how the series has gone over the three tests so far, you can’t really argue with that.

Coral Sport will be offering plenty of pre-match and also In-Play betting on the Test Match both on Boxing Day and in the four days following when the winner of the match will be decided.

The Winter Festival at Kempton Park

Spread across two days on the 26th and 27th December, the Winter Festival meeting at Kempton Park is one of the great Boxing Day institutions of British sport. The Festival features a number of top races, including several Group 1 and Group 2 races across the two days of action and includes big races such as the Kauto Star Novices Chase and the Christmas Hurdle.

This is one of the most prestigious meetings of the National Hunt season, on a par with the Cheltenham Gold Cup meeting in March and the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April and it will feature many of the best National Hunt horses, with one race in particular drawing the very best runners and riders.

That race is the King George VI Steeplechase which takes place today at 3.05pm and which features a high-quality field of horses. The current ante-post odds for this race are:

  • Might Bite – 11/8 Favourite
  • Bristol De Mai – 7/2
  • Fox Norton – 6/1
  • Thistlecrack – 6/1
  • Douvan – 10/1
  • Djakadam – 12/1
  • Whisper – 12/1
  • 16/1 bar

The bookies have Might Bite and Bristol De Mai as the clear favourites and in terms of form and fitness, you cannot argue with that choice. Fox Norton is perhaps just a shade below these two in terms of talent but the intriguing bet for me here is Thistlecrack. The Colin Tizzard-trained horse was almost unbeatable over 2016 and 2017 but suffered an injury in his last race back in January and was ruled out for the season.

He returned with his first race back at Newbury on 1st December but finished fifth some way off the pace and the worry is that he is not quite the same horse that was so utterly dominant. As a fan of the horse, I sincerely hope he can get back to his very best and perhaps spring a surprise with a win here. He certainly had the talent and speed, as he won this event last year at the height of his powers.

PDC World Darts Championship

The action from the Alexandra Palace in London gets back underway today after a two-day break for Christmas with the resumption of the Second Round of games and by New Year’s Eve, we will know which two players will be competing in the Best of 13 Final which will take place in the evening of New Year’s Day.

Coral will be offering plenty of great action on the Darts over the coming week with plenty of pre-match betting available throughout the rounds as well as In Play betting during the games as they are played. You can catch all the action live on Sky Sports (if you hold a valid subscription).

The main thrust of the betting will be on whether Michael Van Gerwen can be beaten. The Dutch ace has been imperious this season and indeed over the past three years but that dominance hasn’t been matched at the Ally Pally as yet. He did win last year and looked in superb form in his First Round win over compatriot Christian Kist.

In truth, apart from a potential quarterfinal clash with Raymond van Barneveld, Van Gerwen’s top half of the draw does not have too many banana skins for him to reach the final, whereas the bottom half of the draw is much tougher with four of Van Gerwen’s most fierce rivals, Phil Taylor, Peter Wright, Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis all drawn together along with the talented newcomer Rob Cross.

Don’t expect Van Gerwen’s odds to win this event to drift as he plays his way through to the final as we’re confident the Dutchman will be the one to beat this year, but if you can predict who is going to be his final opponent, then that may well be a better value bet with Coral today.