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The King George VI Chase

The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on St Stephen’s Day is the feature of a six-race three-Grade 1 card next Tuesday.

Origin of the 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 British 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.

Increasing stature of the race

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. 


Multiple Winners of the King George VI Chase


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)


Most Successful Jockey in King George VI Chase

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.


Leading King George VI Trainer 

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).


Irish-trained winners

Irish-trained horses have won the race eight times with the first victory coming with Cottage Rake in 1948.

Horses trained in Ireland hold the distinction of having the short-priced winner of the race [Arkle at 1/7f in 1965] and the longest priced winner of the Grade 1 contest, with Tornado Flyer winning at 28/1 in 2021.

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

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).

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