Kempton Racecourse

Kempton Racecourse, in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, staged its first fixture in 1878 under the auspices of businessman Samuel Henry Hall. The National Hunt course is synonymous with the King George VI Chase, run on Boxing Day each year. Since 2006, Flat racing at Kempton has taken place on a Polytrack surface, which was constructed inside the existing National Hunt course. Today, Kempton is one of the busiest racecourses in the country, staging nearly a hundred Flat and National Hunt fixtures all year round.


Course Characteristics

The round course at Kempton is a right-handed, flat Polytrack oval, approximately a mile and a quarter around. Races over five furlongs, nine furlongs and ten furlongs are run around the inner bend at the top of the home straight, favouring horses that like to lead or race close to the pace.

The National Hunt course is a right-handed flat, fairly sharp triangle, approximately one mile five furlongs around with a run-in of 175 yards. There are ten, fairly stiff, fences, or six flights of hurdles, per circuit, but Kempton rarely causes problems for horses with at least average jumping ability.


Track Facts

The Jubilee Handicap, still run at Kempton, rivalled the Cambridgeshire and the Stewards’ Cup in terms of popularity in the early years of the twentieth century.

The King George VI Chase is one of just four Grade 1 staying chases run during the National Hunt season, the others being the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Betfred Bowl at Aintree.

The most successful horses in the history of the King George VI Chase were Desert Orchid, who won the race four times in five years between 1986 and 1990 and, more recently, Kauto Star, who won five times in six years between 2006 and 2011.

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