Wednesday November 28, 2018
While the rest of us will be settling in for a lazy Boxing Day feast of cold turkey sandwiches and mince pies, the participants in the King George VI Chase will be readying themselves to try and win one of the biggest races of the season.
The race first took place in 1937, covering three miles. While it has now been firmly established on Boxing Day, it was originally held in February. The current monarch of the time gave his name to the event, an honour which is still in place today. It is a steeplechase, meaning various fences must be cleared on the way to the finish. is open to horses aged at least four years.
Southern Hero was the winner of the inaugural race, with Airgead Sios taking the title the following year before World War II ended the traditional for a few years. The race resumed in 1947, with only six years missed since then. The Boxing Day schedule has occasionally meant the race is cancelled due to snow and frost.
Last year’s winner was Might Bite, ridden by Nico de Boinville and trained by Nicky Henderson. Will they manage to do the double and win again this year? It would be a tough ask, although other horses have managed to win twice in succession. Kauto Star went two better than that, winning four years in a row between 2006 and 2009, with the same jockey and trainer each time. They even came back and won it again in 2011, just for good measure!
It’s too early to say for certain which runners and riders will make the field for the race this year. However, considering the form may help you decide who to back in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse. Some experts have suggested the results of the Betfair Chase over at Haydock might give clues to the potential leaders in the Boxing Day race; however, it is never an exact science.
Will you place a Christmas wager on the famous steeplechase at Kempton Park this Boxing Day? You’ve got plenty of time to decide who you are going to back as the date gets closer.