The G1 King George VI Chase will be served-up on Boxing Day (December 26th) at Kempton Park. Let’s see which horses are dominating our ante-post market…
Colin Tizzard’s 10-year-old looked back to his very best, when winning the G1 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock. He led from 4 fences out and from that point in the race Silviniaco Conti was already done for. Only Conygree emerged with any real credit, although even he was beaten by 15 lengths. The worthy favourite.
Prior to his defeat at the hands of Cue Card, Coneygree had won 5 races in a row. These, of course, included the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he beat the likes of Djakadam, Road To Riches, Holywell and Many Clouds. Impressive stuff, but he might need to put in an even better performance to beat Cue Card on Boxing Day.
2nd in the Ryanair and looking his confident self once more (last Winter he fell in this race and then unseated Ruby Walsh at Leopardstown), the 7-year-old won the G1 Down Royal Champion Chase by 11-lengths. However, Don Poli fell in that encounter and runner-up Silviniaco Conti may well have his best days behind him now. Valseur Lido appears to be on an upward curve though and should go close.
Others that are prominent in our ante-post market (not all are likely to run) include Thistlecrack, Douvan, Vroum Vroum Mag, Tea For Two, Irish Cavalier and God’s Own.
Each-way backers will be keeping an eye on More Of That, Un Temps Pour Tout, Saphir Du Rheu, Ar Mad and Menorah.
About Kempton Park
Kempton Park Racecourse can be found in Sunbury-on-Thames, which is in the English county of Surrey (a few miles to the south-west of London. It is more than just a racecourse and not quite like any other horse racing venue in the UK.
Built on a site of just over two hundred acres, it has a purpose built railway station. This allows for easy access by those living in London. Regular trains arrive from Waterloo, by way of Clapham Junction. It is a woodland area and in the centre are a pair of lakes. Both flat and National Hunt racing take place at Kempton Park Racecourse.
In the late Nineteenth-Century, a successful businessman just happened to be passing Kempton Manor, by horse and carriage. He discovered that it was available for sale. However he chose to lease the property and develop it.
Racing did not place for several years, while construction was underway. It wasn’t until 1878 that Kempton Park Racecourse was up and running. By this time, the manor house was gone and only the old Victorian gate-posts exist nowadays.
The most significant change to Kempton Park Racecourse came in 2006. A bold step was taken, with the introduction of an all-weather surface complete with floodlighting. The new surface was entirely man-made and known as a polytrack. This allowed for racing to take place in the evenings, even over the winter months. It was an instant success and Kempton Park is now one of the best known and most used venues for evening racing.
The decision was a courageous one, as it meant the destruction of the Jubilee Course. This was a spur, one mile in length, and used for a well-established race called the Jubilee Handicap.
Other prestigious Kempton Park races include the Feltham Novices’ Chase, and the Sirenia Stakes. There are extensive facilities for conferences, business meetings, banqueting and parties at Kempton.
The business model has proved very successful. The key to this success is the flexibility of the racecourse. It can be used at any time of year, even when the weather forces many other local racecourses to close. The extensive number of hospitality suites, including some very large rooms, means that the racecourse can accept bookings from all sorts of individuals and organisations.
Kempton’s proximity to London and superb transport links have also helped it to develop into a robust venue which appears to have a very good future. Not all Kempton race meetings are hugely attended. This is particularly true of some evening meetings. However, Kempton has helped to bring live racing to a prime-time UK audience and is a key driver of betting in the evenings.