Punters will be able to bet on the second-best selling single at Christmas this year this year in a bid to sidestep The X Factor's dominance.

Since 2005 the winner of the ITV1 talent show has gone on to top the charts at Christmas, and this year's eventual winner is odds on favourite to do the same.

"The annual X Factor single has wiped out a national institution," a William Hill spokesman said.

"There's little real competition for the top single on Christmas Day, so we've opened a book to open The Race up again."

Last year Leona Lewis topped the charts for four weeks over Christmas and the new year with A Moment Like This, while That's My Goal from her predecessor as X Factor champion, Shayne Ward, became the fourth-fastest selling song in UK chart history in 2005.

Current X Factor favourites Blake, a mock-classical boyband, are hotly-tipped for this year's Christmas number one with their planned cover of Bing Crosby's White Christmas.

06/10/2007 19:03:02