Great Britain

Small field likely for King George as Boxing Day fare gets festive juices flowing

CYRNAME is the star act in the King George as five-day entries were revealed for Boxing Day.  

Paul Nicholls' slick chaser will face a maximum of six rivals in the Grade 1 showpiece.

With Altior's defection, the biggest rival to Cyrname's first King George crown is now Lostintranslation, Colin Tizzard's easy Betfair Chase winner.

He's been confirmed for Venn Farm Stables alongside former winner Thistlecrack, who produced an encouraging return behind Paisley Park at Newbury last month.

Last year's emphatic victor Clan Des Obeaux is also set to take his chance, while former Kempton Grade 1 scorer La Bague Au Roi will bid to return to her best.

Irish raider Footpad is a strong challenger for Willie Mullins and outsider Aso completes the field for the in-form Venetia Williams.

Earlier on the card, a slightly disappointing field will line up for the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase.

Paul Nicholls has entered both his exciting novices Danny Whizzbang and Master Tommytucker, while his old friend and rival Dan Skelton has left in Redzor.

Angels Breath has been given an entry though is unlikely to run after his Ascot exertions and instead the biggest danger to the Ditcheat duo could be the progressive Slate House.

Black Op is another worthy of mention for the 3m staying chase.

The Christmas Hurdle could be a Nicky Henderson benefit, with Epatante, Fusil Raffles and Verdana Blue all boasting strong claims for the Seven Barrows maestro.

Big Blue is an interesting runner from France, as is Quick Grabim who makes his debut for Fergal O'Brien.

Elixir Du Nutz and Silver Streak are other intriguing runners.

Across the Irish Sea, a veritable feast of action begins with the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Top class prospect Fakir D'oudaries has been entered for young gun Joseph O'Brien, while star mare Laurina will bid to follow up her impressive chase debut.

Samcro is also set to take his chance after falling last time out, while dual chase winner Tornado Flyer could also play a part.

Over at Limerick, the €100,000 Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase sees superstar Faugheen confirmed for the race by trainer Willie Mullins.

Salsaretta impressed on chase debut and could also run for the champion trainer, as could Champagne Classic for Gordon Elliott.

Battleoverdoyen has also been given an entry, as has Laurina if connections decide to take on a longer trip.

The Sun Racing team preview the action at Ascot & Haydock this weekend

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