The King George VI Chase at Kempton Park is one of the most prestigious steeplechases in the British horse racing calendar, traditionally held on Boxing Day, December 26th.

King George VI Chase History

The King George VI Chase has a rich history and continues to be a highlight of the British horse racing season, combining high-quality racing with festive tradition.

  1. Inception: The race was first run in February 1937. It was named in honor of King George VI, who had ascended to the throne just a year earlier, following the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII.
  2. World War II Interruption: The race was not held from 1939 to 1946 due to World War II. Following the war, the race resumed in 1947.
  3. Boxing Day Tradition: The decision to hold the race on Boxing Day started in 1947 and helped increase its popularity, as it gave the public a high-profile race to enjoy during the holiday season.
  4. Notable Winners: The King George VI Chase has been won by many of horse racing’s greatest names. Perhaps the most famous of these is Kauto Star, who won the race an unprecedented five times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011). Other notable winners include Desert Orchid, who won it four times in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Arkle, one of the greatest steeplechasers of all time, who won in 1965.
  5. Course and Distance: The race is run over a distance of about 3 miles (4,828 meters), featuring 18 jumps. It is held at Kempton Park, located in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey,  England.
  6. Significance: The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 race, making it a top-tier event in National Hunt (jump) racing. It is often seen as a key indicator for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious races in the jump racing calendar.
  7. Global Appeal: While a British event, the King George VI Chase attracts attention from horse racing enthusiasts worldwide, adding to its prestige and significance in the international racing community.

Past King George VI Chase Winners

Here is a list of the winners of the King George VI Chase for the past 20 years:

  • 2022: Bravemansgame
  • 2021: Tornado Flyer
  • 2020: Frodon
  • 2019: Clan Des Obeaux
  • 2018: Clan Des Obeaux
  • 2017: Might Bite
  • 2016: Thistlecrack
  • 2015: Cue Card
  • 2014: Silviniaco Conti
  • 2013: Silviniaco Conti
  • 2012: Long Run
  • 2011: Kauto Star
  • 2010: Long Run
  • 2009: Kauto Star
  • 2008: Kauto Star
  • 2007: Kauto Star
  • 2006: Kauto Star
  • 2005: Kicking King
  • 2004: Kicking King
  • 2003: Edredon Bleu