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Boxing Day moments: Greatest Races

The biggest day of the horse racing calendar is upon us as fans prepare to flock to their local courses for the Boxing Day meetings. 

It is the busiest and most chaotic day for everyone involved in the sport, and there have been some classic moments over the years as racegoers enjoy some high-quality racing during the festive period.

The King George VI Chase usually steals the headlines, but there are several Grade 1 races in the UK and Ireland that have captured the hearts of racing fans over the years.

Here are five of the greatest Boxing Day races:

King Kauto rules supreme for a fifth time

The King George VI Chase is synonymous with so many historic horses, but nobody has won the race more than Kauto Star.

Paul Nicholls' former charge won one of the world's hardest races on five occasions, and he dominated the race between 2006 and 2009.

After the 2010 King George VI Chase was delayed due to poor weather, he lost to Long Run, but he soon gained revenge 11 months later.

Nicholls managed to get Kauto Star back to his best in 2011, and he beat Long Run with Ruby Walsh on board to further cement his legacy before he was retired in 2012.

Dessie silences his critics in style

Before Kauto Star took his crown, Desert Orchid also won four King George races.

The popular grey won his first for David Elsworth in 1986, before winning three on the spin between 1988 and 1990.

Just like Kauto Star, Desert Orchid was considered to be past his best at 11 when he won his final race, but he rolled back the years to seal another famous win in front of a delighted crowd at Kempton.

Arkle ruled supreme in 1965

Arkle, one of the world's most famous horses that competed back in the 1960s, is still regarded as the world's best steeplechaser.

He won three Cheltenham Gold Cups as well as one King George VI Chase, and he stayed unbeaten in five outings in the 1965/66 season.

He produced one of the most impressive performances in history to win the 1965 King George on Boxing Day in emphatic fashion.

Arkle was given a rating of 212 by Timeform, which is still the highest ever given to a steeplechaser, and his performance in the 1965 edition is still spoken about today.

Cue Card leaves it late

Colin Tizzard won back-to-back King George VI Chase races in 2015 and 2016, and it was Cue Card's performance in 2015 that lives long in the memory.

Tizzard and his team had managed to get the best out of Cue Card after a wind operation, but he still looked like he would be beaten in 2015 as Vautour turned for home.

Jockey Paddy Brennan gave everything to get his runner in front and Cue Card snatched the win by a head on the line, to give racing fans one of the most iconic finishes in Boxing Day history.

Faugheen enjoyed plenty of Boxing Day success

Willie Mullins' Faugheen was one of Ireland's best horses in the last decade and he was able to give connections some unforgettable Boxing Day memories over the years.

In 2014, he won the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle under Ruby Walsh before winning it again 12 months later.

After a dip in form and several injuries, Faugheen was thought to be past his best when he competed in a Grade 1 Novice Chase race at Limerick.

Mullins somehow managed to get him back to his best as he incredibly beat Samcro at the age of 11 to win the novice chase showdown at Limerick on Boxing Day 2019.

Faugheen's win was a magical moment for Mullins and his team, as one of the most popular horses in training secured his third win on Boxing Day in one of Ireland's most prestigious races.

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