The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase over 3 miles, with horses jumping 18 fences. It is held at Kempton Park on Boxing Day (26 December) as part of the Winter Festival.
Race Type: Grade 1
Distance: 3 miles (4828 metres)
Conditions: Steeplechase, set weights, 4YO and up
Track: Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury, England
Date: Sunday, 26 December 2021
King George VI Chase Race History
The King George VI Chase was first run in 1937 during the first year of the reign of King George VI. There were only 4 runners and it was won by twelve-year-old Southern Hero. After the first two runnings, the course was closed from 1939-1946 as Kempton Park was used for World War II prisoners of war. The race resumed in 1947.
It is regarded as the second most prestigious chase in England behind the Gold Cup. In some years it has been cancelled because of bad weather such as snow and heavy frosts, or postponed until early January because of the weather. The 2010 running was actually on 15 January 2011 because of snow and frost. For many, the race is the highlight of the Christmas season and has attracted some of the most popular and highly regarded chasers in Europe.
When Frodon won in 2020 it was the 12th victory for trainer Paul Nicholls. Just like Bart Cummings made the Melbourne Cup his own, Paul Nicholls has done the same with this three-mile steeplechase.
Last mare to win:
Fastest time (m):
Past winners of the King George VI Chase
Fourteen horses have managed to win this race on more than one occasion. Desert Orchid won it 4 times and Kauto Star won it 5 times. The oldest winner was the winner of the inaugural race Southern Hero who was 12. Kauto Star was 11 when he won for the 5th time in 2011. He had won in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 then ran 2nd to the younger Long Run in 2010. Ruby Walsh is the leading jockey as he has 5 wins in the race – all on Kauto Star. Paul Nicholls is the leading trainer with 10 winners – Clan Des Obeaux, Silviniaco Conti (twice), Kauto Star (5 times ) and See More Business who won in 1997 and 1999. Most winners have been aged 7, 8 or 9. No four-year-old has won and the only five-year-old was Manicou in 1950.