We need Christmas this year perhaps just that little bit more.
That said, while we are in no hurry to speed past Christmas Day, we can still look forward to Boxing Day and the first of two fantastic annual treats of national hunt racing.
On December 26, as it does every year, goes the King George VI Chase, this being its 71st renewal and one day before the Welsh Grand National.
First though, Boxing Day’s Group One classic at Kempton Park.
Two times winner Clan des Obeaux, who has the honourable opportunity of emulating the legendary likes of Desert Orchid and Kauto Star by winning the race for a third time, is the slim ante-post favourite as we write this.
His 2018 jockey, Harry Cobden is in another seat this around, however. That will be the saddle on the back of the second favourite Cyrname, his ride here last year too.
Cyrname proved his class and jumping ability over three miles in the Charlie Hall Chase and we think he is to be favoured over his stablemate.
In part this is because there are concerns following Clan des Obeaux’s operation recovery and in part the concerns have formed after he lost by two lengths to Bristol de Mai at Haydock last month.
Plus, in another part, because we have been given Paul Nicholls’ – and who knows more about this race than Paul Nicholls? – assurance that Cyrname will be a different horse this year.
The race looks like going off with nine runners, the only other two of which that should be in with a chance are, according to the odds at least, Santini and Lostintranslation. It’s sad, but Henry de Bromhead’s Monalee won’t be lining up because Covid enforced travel restrictions.
Nicky Henderson’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner up, Santini’s inclusion might be a surprise one but is certainly a welcome one.
Lostintranslation had a lot of fanciers for this one 12 months ago but couldn’t make it to the end.
An awkward run in the Betfair Chase, which followed a third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, has allowed his price to drift, although he remains a threat of quality.
And so, to Chepstow.
The Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase will go off over three miles and six furlongs.
The ground is sure to be testing as it always is at Chepstow this time of year.
2019 winner Potter’s Corner will not be returning for this year’s race, leaving Secret Reprieve to pick up the home team’s baton.
While there is plenty of justification for going with the favourite, there will be plenty of challengers on course to prevent the favourite from becoming the second Welsh winner in 55 years.
Paul Nicholls’ Yala Enki, who finished third in the race’s most recent renewal, will be carrying the burden of 11st 12lb and the Ditcheat runner could well be suited to the race if the course’s going suits as it looks it very well might.
From a potential each way angle, last year’s Trucker’s Lodge is 16lb heavier than he was 12 months ago which is might make him a decent consideration if you have your £10 free Horse Racing Club bet.
Elsewhere, Dominateur is well suited to this type of going, loves Chepstow and is an interesting price for an each way punt.