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2020 Leopardstown Christmas Festival Schedule - Dates, Cards and Race Previews

  • Here's our preview of the 2020 Leopardstown Christmas Festival
  • This fantastic four-day festival starts on Boxing Day and ends on Tuesday 29th December
  • Seven Grade One races will be staged at Leopardstown during this meeting
  • The Savills Chase is the feature race of the festival
leopardstown december
A view of the runners at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. (Getty)

While British fans focus on Kempton every Boxing Day, Irish eyes look to Leopardstown, as they stage their popular Christmas Festival. For four fantastic days, seven Grade One prizes will be put up for grabs, as many of Ireland's finest National Hunt horses announced their intentions for the rest of the season.

Let's preview all four days, and pick out some horses that punters can look forward to backing during the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

2020 Leopardstown Christmas Festival Preview


Leopardstown Day One Card


Time
Title
12:10pmMaiden Hurdle 2m
12:40pmMaiden Hurdle 2m
1:10pmFrank Knight Juvenile Hurdle 2m
1:45pmNovices' Handicap Hurdle 2m
2:20pmRacing Post Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m
2:55pmHandicap Chase 2m1f
3:30pmFlat Race 2m

Juvenile's take centre-stage in the first Grade One of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, as many of the sports top three-year-olds battle it out in the Frank Knight Juvenile Hurdle. Gordon Elliott trains the top three in the betting for the 2021 Triumph Hurdle, and one of Zanahiyr, Quilixios or Duffle Coat will likely make an appearance here.

Energumene2020 Racing Post Novice Chase FavouriteGET 5/4 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

The second big-race on the card could see several potential Arkle contender lock horns in the Grade One Racing Post Novices' Chase. Felix Desjy is the highest-placed Irish runner behind Shishkin in the current Arkle betting, but Willie Mullins' Energumene made a taking debut for new connections last month, and he currently heads the market at Leopardstown.

Leopardstown Day Two Card


Time
Title
12:05pmJuvenile Hurdle 2m
12:35pmBeginners Chase 2m1f
1:10pmPaddy Rewards Club Chase (Grade 1) 2m1f
1:45pmFuture Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
2:20pmHandicap Hurdle 2m
2:55pmPaddy Power Handicap Chase (Grade B) 3m
3:30pmFlat Race 2m4f

The star of the show on day two could be Chacun Pour Soi, who will bid to enforce his position at the head of the 2021 Champion Chase market in the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase. A Plus Tard defeated Willie Mullins' charge in this race last year, and they could renew rivalries. Henry De Bromhead's Notebook, who won here on day one last year, is another likely runner.

Chacun Pour Soi2020 Paddy Rewards Club Chase FavouriteGET 2/5 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Viewers will then be treated to a fascinating renewal of the Future Champions Novice Hurdle. Greats like Istabraq and Hurricane Fly have won this Grade One down the years, and last year's Champion Bumper runner-up, Appreciate It will likely carry the tag of favouritism into this year's renewal.

chacun pour soi
Chacun Pour Soi winning at Leopardstown earlier this year. (Getty)

Leopardstown Day Three Card


Time
Title
12:15pmMaiden Hurdle 2m4f
12:50pmPertemps Network Handicap Hurdle 3m
1:25pmBeginners Chase 2m5f
2:00pmFrank Ward Memorial Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m
2:35pmChristmas Handicap Hurdle 2m4f
3:10pmSavills Chase (Grade 1) 3m
3:40pmFlat Race 2m

The third day of festivities at Leopardstown are headlined by the Savills Chase, which has been won by many future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners. Delta Work returns to defend his crown, but faces still competition from favourite Minella Indo, Kemboy and Presenting Percy.

Minella Indo2020 Savills Chase FavouriteGET 2/1 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

Two-time Pertemps Final winner, Sire Du Berlais will then bid to win his first Grade One in the Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle. Stablemate Fury Road could take Sire Du Berlais on, with dangerous stayers like Ronald Pump, Bachasson, Beacon Edge and Great White Shark also likely to get a run.

The Pertemps Qualifier on day three of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival is always worth watching too. Several winners of the Final at the Cheltenham Festival have crept into the places in this qualifier, so watch out for runners from Gordon Elliott's or Joseph O'Brien's yard who sneak into the top six places.

Leopardstown Day Four Card


Time
Title
12:10pmHandicap Chase 2m5f
12:45pmMaiden Hurdle 2m4f
1:20pmMares' Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m4f
1:55pmNeville Hotels Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 3m
2:30pmMatheson Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
3:05pmNovices' Handicap Hurdle 2m4f
3:40pmFlat Race 2m

The headline act on the final afternoon of racing at Leopardstown is the Matheson Hurdle. Three of Ireland's leading Champion Hurdle contenders will lock horns here, with Saint Roi, Abacadabras and Aspire Tower all expected to take up their entries. Two-time defending champion, Sharjah could also run, along with unbeaten mare Honeysuckle.

Saint Roi2021 Matheson Hurdle FavouriteGET 7/4 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

Monkfish will likely be the overwhelming favourite for the final Grade One of the meeting, the Neville Hotels Novices' Chase. Willie Mullins' Albert Bartlett winner jumped like a buck when winning on his chasing debut. You can currently get Monkfish at 3/1 to win the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, and it could be wise to back him now for that race, before he bolts up at Leopardstown.
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