Kempton Races – Home To Racing All Year Round

Kempton races take place at Kempton Park, which is set in Sunbury-on-Thames, just 16 miles southwest of Trafalgar Square. S.H. Hyde, a 19th century businessman, came up with the idea for this racecourse when he spotted Kempton Manor and Park for sale while enjoying a carriage drive through the country. Originally, in 1872 he leased the grounds as a tenant, and then in 1878 he opened Kempton as a racecourse. Not only are Kempton races are convenient for anyone that lives in and around London, yet they also represent some of the biggest events on the racing calendar, with one of the most famous being the King George VI Chase.

This is a Grade 1 National Hunt three-mile chase, open to horses aged four years and older. The event dates back to 1937 and it boasts a status as one of the most prestigious chases in England, only surpassed by the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The famous Kauto Star won the race five times. Other notable jump races at Kempton include the Betbright Chase and the Lanzarote Hurdle. The track itself is flat and goes right handed. The fences are relatively easy when compared with other jump tracks in the UK, yet horses can expect a stiff stamina test when the ground is soft/heavy going.

Kempton Park Racecourse Hosts Flat & Jump Racing

The jump track only provides half of the fun at Kempton Park, as there is an all-weather track with a polytrack surface for flat racing too. This means that Kempton races can be enjoyed all year round. The course is oval shaped and has two loops; the outer loop provides more of a straightforward test with a straight of just under three furlongs while the inner circuit is sharper and has a shorter straight. Most experts agree that patient tactics tend to be rewarded on this course, as jockeys often get going late from home. An inside draw is also highly advantageous at this track.

There are plenty of Kempton races to enjoy throughout the year, as the racecourse plays host to almost 100 national hunt and flat fixtures. This makes it one of the busiest racecourses in the UK. General admission prices differ depending on the time of year and the races that are being held, with some race days being followed by a live music concert. At present, Godolphin and Jim Crowley hold the record for the most winners on the all-weather track for owners and jockeys respectively. Needless to say, National Hunt races take place less frequently, yet the top jockey at this track is Barry Geraghty and the top owner is Michael Buckley.