Section of tracks with finishing line
|Location||Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, England|
|Owned by||Jockey Club Racecourses|
|Date opened||July 1878|
|Screened on||Racing TV|
|Course type|| Flat |
|Notable races|| King George VI Chase |
Kempton Park Racecourse is a horse racing track together with a licensed entertainment and conference venue in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England, 16 miles south-west of Charing Cross, London and on a border of Greater London. The site has 210 acres (85 hectares ) of flat grassland surrounded by woodland with two lakes in its centre. Its entrance borders Kempton Park railway station which was created for racegoers on a branch line from London Waterloo, via Clapham Junction.
It has adjoining inner and outer courses for flat and fenced racing. Among its races, the King George VI Chase takes place on Boxing Day, a Grade 1 National Hunt chase which is open to horses aged four years or older.
The racecourse was the idea of 19th-century businessman (and Conservative Party agent) S. H. Hyde, who was enjoying a carriage drive in the country when he came across Kempton Manor and Park for sale. Hyde leased the grounds as tenant in 1872 and six years later in July 1878 Kempton opened as a racecourse. This was the feudal lord's demesne of a manor recorded in the Domesday Book and has had at least four variant names but though early Victorian gateposts exist, no buildings of the manor house remain.
The site briefly closed (2 May 2005 – 25 March 2006) to reopen with a new all-weather polytrack (synthetic material) main track and floodlighting to enable racing at all light levels and all but the most severe bad weather.
Flat racing from 2006 is run on the synthetic track so the historic "Jubilee Course", a mile long spur which joined the main track by the home bend, used for the "Jubilee Handicap" which parred the Cambridgeshire and the Stewards' Cup in seniority, was abandoned. It is now overgrown for racing; however, it joins the outskirts of the park as part of the green belt.
On 10 January 2017 the Jockey Club announced the closure of the 230-acre site by 2021 for a total of £500 million investment programme over a 10-year period that was submitted for consideration following the local authority's 'Call for Sites' to address unmet local housing needs.The plan includes the move of some important jumps races like the King George VI Chase and Christmas Hurdle to the Sandown Park Racecourse with the other jumps fixtures to be spread around other Jockey Club-owned racecourses throughout the country, while the all-weather track to be replaced by a new artificial track to be built at Newmarket.
Kempton Park stages National Hunt racing (with fences) and flat racing, with the most famous race being the King George VI Chase held every Boxing Day, a prestigious Grade 1 race. The Kauto Star Novices' Chase (formerly the Feltham Novices' Chase) also takes place on Boxing Day, a Grade 1 race. With similar challenges, past winners of the Kauto Star Novices' Chase and of the King George VI Chase include Kauto Star and Long Run; the following day is the Desert Orchid Chase, a Grade 2 race. On approximately the last weekend of February Kempton Park hosts the Close Brothers Handicap Chase and in early September the course stages the September Stakes race day.
In addition to racing, the site is home to a weekly market on Thursdays, holds an antiques market on the second and last Tuesday of every month and seasonal wedding fairs. Reception areas and two restaurants can be booked for private hospitality or celebrations. Boxes are used for meetings and race days.
Upper tiers of the grandstand and boxes have views toward Sandown Park's Esher and Oxshott ridge and the North Downs range of hills. Woodland and parkland forms the backdrop from the grandstand.
The horse Blue Warrior strayed and fell into Kempton Park's centre-course lake having jumped before the start of the 19.20 on 14 January 2009. The rescue operation to get the horse out of the lake caused the race to be delayed by 15 minutes, with the horse rescued and sustaining a minor cut to his leg.
|January||Saturday||Lanzarote Hurdle||Hurdle||Handicap||2m 5f||4yo +|
|January||Saturday||Silviniaco Conti Chase||Chase||Grade 2||2m 4f 110y||5yo +|
|February||Saturday||Close Brothers Handicap Chase||Chase||Grade 3||3m||5yo +|
|February||Saturday||Adonis Juvenile Novices' Hurdle||Hurdle||Grade 2||2m||4yo only|
|February||Saturday||Pendil Novices' Chase||Chase||Grade 2||2m 4f 110y||5yo +|
|February||Saturday||Dovecote Novices' Hurdle||Hurdle||Grade 2||2m||4yo +|
|Mar / Apr||Saturday||Magnolia Stakes||A W Flat||Listed||1m 2f||4yo +|
|Mar / Apr||Saturday||Rosebery Stakes||A W Flat||Handicap||1m 3f||4yo +|
|Mar / Apr||Saturday||Easter Stakes||A W Flat||Conditions||1m||3yo only|
|April||Saturday||Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes||A W Flat||Conditions||1m||4yo+ f|
|September||Saturday||Sirenia Stakes||A W Flat||Group 3||6f||2yo only|
|September||Saturday||September Stakes||A W Flat||Group 3||1m 4f||3yo +|
|October||Sunday||Matchbook Betting Exchange Novices' Hurdle||Hurdle||Listed||2m||4yo +|
|October||Sunday||Matchbook VIP Hurdle||Hurdle||Listed||2m||4yo +|
|November||Wednesday||Floodlit Stakes||A W Flat||Listed||1m 4f||3yo +|
|November||Monday||Kempton Mares' Hurdle||Hurdle||Listed||3m 110y||4yo + m|
|December||26th||King George VI Chase||Chase||Grade 1||3m||4yo +|
|December||26th||Kauto Star Novices' Chase||Chase||Grade 1||3m||4yo +|
|December||26th||Christmas Hurdle||Hurdle||Grade 1||2m||4yo +|
|December||27th||Wayward Lad Novices' Chase||Chase||Grade 2||2m||4yo +|
|December||27th||Desert Orchid Chase||Chase||Grade 2||2m||4yo +|
The racecourse has a purpose-built railway station, on the London Waterloo to Shepperton line.
For racegoers not travelling via the capital, and including the direct Thameslink from Bedford to Brighton, a junction station on this short line is at Clapham Junction and for services on lines from Reading and Windsor to Waterloo, a change can be made at Twickenham followed by nearby Teddington.
The A308 passes by the racecourse and so does the A316 that becomes the M3 motorway. Free parking is available for visitors.
Lingfield Park Racecourse is a horse racing course at Lingfield in Surrey, United Kingdom. It is owned by the ARC Racing and Leisure Group, formerly Arena Leisure Plc.
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The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase 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, and during its running there are eighteen fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year on 26 December, and features as part of the course's Christmas Festival.
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The Kauto Star Novices' Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase 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, and during its running there are eighteen fences to be jumped. The race is for novice chasers, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the King George VI Chase meeting on Boxing Day. The race was originally known as the Feltham Novices' Chase. The 2012 running additionally carried the name of Kauto Star pending a permanent change of name. The permanent name change was confirmed by the BHA in July 2013.
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Remittance Man was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed under National Hunt rules. He was noted for his consistency, excellent jumping and nervous temperament. Between December 1988 and April 1990 he competed in hurdle races, and showed promise by winning two of his twelve races including the Grade 2 Bristol Novices' Hurdle and never finishing worse than third. When switched to compete in steeplechases he showed immediate improvement and won thirteen of his first fourteen races over fences. In his first season of steeplechasing his wins included the Noel Novices' Chase, Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, Galloway Braes Novices' Chase and Arkle Challenge Trophy. He had his greatest success in the 1991/1992 season when he won the Arlington Premier Chase, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Melling Chase. In the following autumn he won the Desert Orchid Chase and the Peterborough Chase but then sustained a serious tendon injury. He won his comeback race in February 1994 but was beaten in his three remaining races.
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