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HORSE RACING

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Cue Card and Thistlecrack are among the seven entries remaining for the 32-Red King George Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day.

The Colin Tizzard-trained duo will go head-to-head in the feature with Cue Card aiming to successfully defend his title.

Dual King George winner Silviniaco Conti will run for trainer Paul Nicholls while Road To Riches and Roi Des Francs head up the Irish challenge.

Unbeaten novice chasers Min and Identity Thief are on course for a classy Christmas clash at Leopardstown on St Steaphen’s Day in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase.

Min, second in last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, has won his only start over fences at Navan under Ruby Walsh for the champion trainer Willie Mullins.

The Rich Ricci-owned Walk In The Park gelding looks likely to go off favourite for the race.
Henry de Bromhead will be hoping Identity Thief can make it three from three in the race. A Grade 1 winner over hurdles, the Gigginstown-owned son of Kayf Tara has made the transition to jumping the larger obstacles look easy with two silky chase wins to his name.

A total of 15 entries were received for the race while 13 horses were entered for the supporting Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle on the same day, including current Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory.

SOCCER

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy’s lost his appeal against the red card he received in a 2-all Premier League draw with Stoke on Saturday.

The England international will now be banned for games against Everton, West Ham and Middlesbrough.

He’ll be available to return for Leicester’s FA Cup third-round tie on the seventh of January.

Premier League club Burnley have resigned Joey Barton.

The midfielder’s contract was cancelled by Rangers last month after a training ground altercation back in September.

Barton only played eight times for the Scottish Premiership side.

He’ll officially rejoin the club he left them for, when the transfer window reopens next month.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner’s turned down an offer from German top-flight side Wolfsburg.

In a statement, the Sky Bet Championship side’s chairman Dean Hoyle said he accepts Wagner will move on, but now isn’t the time.

Huddersfield are currently fourth in the English second-flight.

RUGBY

Leinster will be without Rob Kearney for their trip to Munster in the Guinness Pro-12 on St Stephen’s Day.

The Ireland full-back remains sidelined with a hamstring injury but is expected to return for the Blues’ match against Ulster next week.

Senior coach Stuart Lancaster has confirmed that prop Cian Healy is available for the clash with Munster at Thomond Park.

TENNIS

Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova’s having potentially career-saving surgery after a knife attack this morning.

She was stabbed in her tennis-playing left hand at her Czech Republic home, later tweeting that she’s “fortunate to be alive”.

A spokesman says the attempted burglary appears to have been a “random criminal act”.

Motorsport

Mercedes say they won’t rush their search for Nico Rosberg’s replacement at the team.

World champion Rosberg made the surprise decision to retire after pipping his rival and team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the title.

Mercedes’ Niki Lauda says they’re willing to wait until the end of next month to sign a driver to partner Hamilton for next season.

Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and Pascal Wehrlein have all been linked with the team in recent weeks.