Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton

Kempton Park Races

Kempton Park is regarded as one of the best racecourses in the UK, with big crowds packing into the venue which is situated just 16 miles from London.

The 32Red Winter Festival - featuring three Grade 1 races including the King George VI Chase - is the biggest race meeting of the year, with total prize money for the King George alone standing at £250,000.

In recent years, the two-day festival - held annually on December 26 and 27 - has featured the biggest stars in British horse racing including Kauto Star, Thistlecrack and Long Run as well as Irish heavyweights such as Vautour, Florida Pearl and Harchibald.

Kempton converted its flat track from turf to all-weather in 2006, with plenty of evening fixtures throughout the winter months. They have maintained lots of historic races including the Magnolia Stakes, Rosebery Stakes and the September Stakes, the latter which featured the return of double Arc winner Enable in 2018.

Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton Racecourse has two separate tracks - the National Hunt course on turf and the all-weather course on the flat.

The switch to an all-weather track on the flat was made in 2006 and the surface in use is Polytrack. Kempton is a flat, oval-shaped course with two loops. The inner circuit - used for races over five, nine and 10 furlongs - is very tight and has a finishing straight of just under two furlongs. This usually suits the horses which front-run. For that reason, having an inside draw can be a huge advantage, especially over the five-furlong distance.

The turn on the outer course is more sweeping and the straight is almost a furlong longer, making for a more straightforward test, with a short run to the first bend over the shorter trips.

The going is officially rated ‘standard’ on most occasions but that can be dependent on weather conditions.

The National Hunt course is a right-handed flat track that is often considered an easier test than Cheltenham, with a stiffer finish coming into play at the Cotswolds venue. As a result, horses which have been running at intermediate trips often step up to run in the King George, such as the Willie Mullins-trained Vautour who was narrowly beaten in the 2015 renewal.

Usually the race can be won and lost before the third-last fence or hurdle, with the short but sharp bend allowing horses travelling on the bridle to extend before the final obstacles.

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Kempton Park dress code

At Kempton, there is no strict dress code to attend the course, but for some enclosures, especially on major race days, there may be some restrictions. As a general rule, smart dress is acceptable anywhere.

It goes without saying that it will be cold for the big Winter Festival, so it's best to come prepared with a couple of layers and a coat! Many people wear tweed to National Hunt meetings and the Winter Festival at Kempton is no different.

Fancy dress is permitted throughout the racecourse, as long as it isn’t offensive.

Kempton Park fixtures 2019

Wednesday 12th June 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 26th June 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 10th July 2019 Flat – Evening - All Weather

Monday 5th August 2019 Flat - Afternoon - All Weather

Wednesday 7th August 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 14th August 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Tuesday 20th August 2019 Flat Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 21st August 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 28th August 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Tuesday 3rd September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Friday 6th September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Saturday 7th September 2019 Flat - Afternoon - All Weather

Wednesday 11th September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 16th September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 23rd September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 25th September 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Tuesday 1st October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 2nd October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 9th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Thursday 10th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Tuesday 15th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 16th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Sunday 20th October 2019 Jump - Afternoon - All Weather

Tuesday 22nd October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 23rd October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 28th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 30th October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Thursday 31st October 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 4th November 2019 Flat - Afternoon - All Weather

Tuesday 5th November 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 6th November 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 11th November 2019 Jump - Afternoon - Turf

Tuesday 19th November 2019 Flat - Afternoon - All Weather

Wednesday 20th November 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Monday 25th November 2019 Jump - Afternoon - Turf

Wednesday 27th November 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Friday 29th November 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 4th December 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Wednesday 11th December 2019 Flat - Evening - All Weather

Thursday 26th December 2019 (King George) Jump - Afternoon - Turf

Friday 27th December 2019 (Desert Orchid Chase) Jump - Afternoon - Turf

Kempton Park Boxing Day

For racing fans, Christmas Day is the precursor to a Boxing Day feast of equine brilliance, with the King George VI Chase at Kempton the blue-riband event on a stunning day of racing on either side of the Irish Sea. The 2019 running takes place on Thursday December 26.

The three-mile Grade 1 chase over 18 fences signals the halfway point in the National Hunt season and is the second part of the Stayers Triple Crown, with a £1 million bonus for any horse which wins the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George at Kempton and the Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival.

It is the highlight of a brilliant day’s racing, with the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase - known as the Novice King George - also on the card as well as the two-mile Christmas Hurdle, won in 2018 by Verdana Blue. These races can often throw up Cheltenham Festival winners, with Topofthegame coming second in the Kauto Star last year before going on to win the RSA Chase at Cheltenham.

Favourites have a strong record in the King George, with three of the last five winners heading the market before the off - Silviniaco Conti (15/8), Thistlecrack (11/10) and Might Bite (6/4).

Many bookmakers will be offering free bets and extra places on the race, so keep your eyes peeled and check HERE for any special offers.

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Directions to Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton Park is one of the closest racecourses to London, just 16 miles from the capital city.

It is located on the A308 between Sunbury on Thames and Hampton Court, less than one mile from Junction 1 of the M3 via Junction 12 of the M25. Priority car parking is provided to owners and trainers and those with a disabled badge and this is accessed via Gate 1 in Park Road.

Kempton charge £5 per vehicle in the Main Car Park on all Jump and feature fixture dates. Separate charges apply for the 32Red Winter Festival.

If you have a Blue Badge, you can park in one of the designated bays in the parking area as long as you ensure that your badge is on display at all times.

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