Champion jockey Johnson heads to Fontwell - not Kempton - for Boxing day: preview and tips

Boxing Day’s meeting at Fontwell Park brings the curtain down on the year for the Sussex course and will be the track's busiest on the traditional day the nation goes to the races.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 10:33 am
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 9:07 am
Richard Johnson - nearest the camera on his way to winning on Out For Justice at Fontwell earlier this year - will be back at the track on Boxing Day / Picture: Clive Bennett

Experts at the Racing Post have previewed all of the action ahead of Fontwell's big meeting, which will feature champion jockey Richard Johnson - riding in West Sussex rather than at the showpiece fixture at Kempton Park.

Admission prices start at just £20 with kids going free so gather up the family, escape the chaotic Christmas celebrations and get down to course for seven exhilarating races - the highlight of which is the 14:25, a Handicap Hurdle over two miles and a furlong with the winner scooping over £6,000 in prize money.

Observer sports editor Steve Bone's Fontwell tips: 12.15 Early Days, 12.45 I Like Him, 1.15 Neff, 1.50 Flaminger, 2.25 The Game Is A Foot, 3.00 The Tin Miner, 3.35 Kalarika.

Away from Fontwell Park all eyes will be on Kempton for one of the biggest races of the season, the prestigious King George VI Chase, the jewel in the crown of the Boxing Day card - the busiest horse racing day of the entire year.

Clan Des Obeaux, last year's King George winner and current 11/2 third favourite to go for two in a row is part owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson so it could be Fergie Time once again on Boxing Day.

Interestingly, champion jockey Richard Johnson - currently locked in a battle for this season's title with Brian Hughes - heads to Fontwell Park instead of the day's major meeting at Kempton for five big rides which could give him the edge in his battle to retain his crown. Punters are advised to take note.

Gates open at 10:50 whilst racing will getting underway two hours later with the last race going off at 15:35 - giving you plenty of time to get home and devour the Christmas dinner left-overs.

Race by race guide

Going: Soft

12:15 Southern Contract Lifting Mare’s Handicap Hurdle Cl4 (3yo+) 2m51/2f

Racing Post top tip: Early Days 7/2

12:45 Visit Juvenile Maiden Hurdle Cl4 (3yo) 2m11/2f

Racing Post top tip: Manucci 9/4

13:15 NJS Group Novices’ Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+) 2m2f

Racing Post top tip: Soldier To Follow 7/1

13:50 Southern Cranes and Training Division Handicap Chase Cl4 (4yo+) 2m11/2f

Racing Post top tip: Flaminger 6/5

14:25 Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+) 2m11/2f

Racing Post top tip: Dostal Phil 13/8

15:00 Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap Chase Cl5 (4yo+ 0-100) 2m3f

Racing Post top tip: The Tin Miner 4/1

15:35 Southern Cranes And Access Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Cl5 (3yo+) 2m3f

Racing Post top tip: Shimba Hills 10/1

Top jockeys at Fontwell this season

Tom Cannon: +38.00

Kielan Woods: +15.72

Leighton Aspell: +5.50

Gavin Sheehan: +3.90

Jamie Moore: -6.56

Top trainers at Fontwell this season

Chris Gordon: +33.00

Neil Mulholland: +30.60

Jamie Snowden: +8.65

Anthony Honeyball: +7.75

Gary Moore: -5.56

(profit based on a £1 stake on every runner at Fontwell this season)

Travellers' check (horses which have come from furthest stables to race at Fontwell)

Horse: Here’s Herbie, Trainer: Sue Gardner, Miles: 155

Horse: Bredon Hill Lad, Trainer: Sure Gardner, Miles: 155

Horse: Tanrudy, Trainer: Nigel Hawke, Miles: 151

Horse: Kendelu, Trainer: Nigel Hawke, Miles: 151

Horse, Pola Chance, Trainer: Nigel Hawke, Miles: 151

For all results and racecards check Racing Post