King George VI Chase
|Grade 1 race|
|King George VI Chase|
|Sponsor||William Hill |
|Distance||3 miles (4,828 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
|Weight||11 st 3 lb (4yo);
11 st 10 lb (5yo+)
7 lb for fillies and mares
The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of about 3 miles (4,828 metres), and during its running there are eighteen fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year, usually on 26 December, and features as part of the William Hill Winter Festival.
The event was first run in February 1937, and it was named in honour of the new British monarch, King George VI. It was only run twice before World War II, during which Kempton Park was closed for racing and used as a prisoner-of-war camp. The two pre-war runnings were each contested by four horses. The winner of the first, Southern Hero, remains the race's oldest ever winner. After the war the racecourse re-opened, and the event returned in 1947 on a new date – Boxing Day.
The King George VI Chase is now the second most prestigious chase in England, surpassed only by the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Thirteen horses have won it more than once, Desert Orchid has won it four times and Kauto Star has won it five times.
Most successful horse (5 wins):
- Kauto Star – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
Leading jockey (5 wins):
- Ruby Walsh – Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
Leading trainer (7 wins):
- Paul Nicholls – See More Business (1997, 1999), Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
- Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
1 During World War II Kempton Park was closed for racing and used as a reception centre for prisoners-of-war.
2 The 1961 and 1962 runnings were both abandoned because of frost.
3 It was cancelled in 1967 due to foot-and-mouth restrictions, and in 1968 because of frost.
4 The 1970 running was abandoned because of snow.
5 The race was abandoned in 1981 because of snow and frost.
6 The "1995" race took place on 6 January 1996 at Sandown, having been postponed at Kempton due to snow and frost.
7 It was switched to Sandown in 2005 as Kempton was closed for redevelopment.
8 The "2010" race took place on 15 January 2011 after Kempton Park's 2010 Boxing Day meeting was cancelled due to snow and frost.
- Racing Post:
- kinggeorgechase.com – King George Chase Winners.
- pedigreequery.com – King George VI Chase – Kempton Park.
- Ladbrokes Pocket Companion 1990/91. Aesculus Press. 1990. p. 46. ISBN 1-871093-21-X.