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Thursday 26 December 2024

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Ladbrokes King George VI Chase Day stages some of the most important races in the Jump calendar, including the Grade 1 Boxing Day showpiece, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase, as well as the Christmas Hurdle and Kauto Star Chase.


In 2023 there was another big-race success for the bargain horse Hewick as he came with a tremendous late run to land Kempton Park’s Boxing Day highlight – the Grade One Ladbrokes King George VI Chase.


If you're a fan of live sporting action, this is the day for you!





LAST race


The King George VI Chase has its origins in the Manor Selling Chase, a three-mile contest staged at Kempton Park in February. The course executive had planned to honour the incoming monarch, Edward VIII, with a new feature contest run in his honour. Edward VIII ascended the throne in January 1936 but in December of the same year he abdicated in order to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson.


To celebrate the accession to the throne of King George VI, Edward VIII’s brother and grandfather of King Charles III, the Manor Selling Chase became the King George VI Chase at the February meeting of 1937. The King George VI Chases of 1937 and 1938 were relatively modest contests and from 1939 to 1945 there was no racing at Kempton Park while it was used as a POW camp during World War II.


On the resumption of racing in 1946, the King George VI Chase was transferred to become the highlight of the Boxing Day programme. The move proved highly successful with large crowds and the race’s stature improved beyond recognition.


Staged over three miles, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase is the mid-season highlight in the three-mile chase category and is a Grade One contest. It forms the second leg of The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, sandwiched between the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November and the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.






Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)



Desert Orchid (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990)



Wayward Lad (1982, 1984, 1985)



Captain Christy (1974, 1975)

Clan des Obeaux (2018, 2019)

Kicking King (2004, 2005)

Long Run (2010, 2012)

Mandarin (1957, 1959)

One Man (1995, 1996)

Pendil (1972, 1973)

See More Business (1997, 1999)

Silver Buck (1979, 1980)

Silviniaco Conti (2013, 2014)





Ruby Walsh is the most successful jockey with five wins, which were all achieved on Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011).


Harry Cobden is the only current jockey to have been successful more than once, riding Clan des Obeaux (2018) and Bravemansgame (2022) to victory.





Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer with a remarkable 13 victories - See More Business (1997, 1999), Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), Silviniaco Conti (2013, 2014), Clan Des Obeaux (2018, 2019), Frodon (2020) and Bravemansgame (2022).




IRELAND (8): Cottage Rake (1948), Arkle (1965), Captain Christy (1974, 1975), Florida Pearl (2001), Kicking King (2004, 2005), Tornado Flyer (2021)


FRANCE (5): Nupsala (1987), The Fellow (1991, 1992), Algan (1994), First Gold (2000)





The oldest winners are 11 year olds Desert Orchid (1990), Edredon Bleu (2003) and Kauto Star (2011), while the youngest horse to succeed is five year old Manicou (1950).


The overall age breakdown in the 70 runnings since 1946 is:


5YO – 1

6YO – 9

7YO – 20

8YO – 21

9YO – 12

10YO – 4

11YO - 3




Tornado Flyer is the race’s longest-priced winner, scoring at 28-1 in 2021.


The great Arkle was 1-7 when successful in 1965 and is the shortest-priced winner.


This century has seen 11 favourites prevail in the 22 runnings, a strike rate of 50 per cent.

The King George VI Chase


The Grade 1 race first ran in 1937 and was named after the newly crowned king. It was won by Southern Hero who, to date, remains the oldest winner of the race at 12 years old. The King George VI Chase is synonymous with some of the most famous names in racing with Arkle, Pendil, Wayward Lad and Best Mate all taking their place on the roll of honour.


Hewick, the horse who only cost his owner TJ McDonald only €850 (around £800) won the fourth big race of his career and took his earnings to over a half a million pounds with a never say die performance to win the Boxing Day highlight at Kempton Park in 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're thinking about joining us or have just booked tickets, find out all you need to know about attending the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival here.

Raceday style

Raceday style

What to Wear?
At Kempton Park Racecourse we believe racing should be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. And one thing is certainly true, the more relaxed and comfortable we feel, the more likely we are to have a great time. So that’s why we’ve created one very simple piece of guidance, to come “dressed to feel your best”.



Choose the perfect spot for you with our guide to the enclosures at the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival.

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