🏇 2019 draws to a close with the Ladbrokes Christmas Festival at Kempton Park and a two-day jumps extravanza. Tickets are available.
The waiting is nearly over for this year’s showpiece event at the historic racecourse in Surrey just 16 miles from central London. The Christmas Festival is the jewel in Kempton Park’s crown – boasting 12 top quality races over two days, it’s the mid-season jump racing event not to be missed.
Day 1 focusses on the race that underpins the entire festival – The King George VI Steeple Chase. The Grade 1 race first ran in 1937 and was named after the newly crowned king. It was won by Southern Hero who, to date, remains the oldest winner of the race at 12 years old.
The King George VI Chase race draws incredible talent as horses, jockeys and trainers compete to leave a permanent mark in racing history. The race is synonymous with some of the most famous names in racing with Arkle, Pendil, Wayward Lad and Best Mate all taking their place on the roll of honour; not to mention equine legends Desert Orchid and Kauto Star who each have a statue in their memory at the course. In 2018 Clan Des Obeaux joined the illustrious list of winners and he is back this year to defend his crown against a stellar line-up. Also in the mix are the two top-rated chase horses in the country – Lostintranslation and Cyrname – both vying to be the bookies outright favourite to win the race. And with the likes of Thistlecrack (who won the race in 2016 and was a runner-up last year) and Footpad (trained by Willie Mullins the most successful trainer in Cheltenham Festival history) also going to post it promises to be a vintage edition of the race. Aso and La Bague Au Rio complete the starting seven as at last Friday’s confirmation stage.
Day two of the Festival is Desert Orchid Chase Day. Named after the charismatic grey who made Kempton Park his own, the day is packed full of quality racing including the Mare’s Handicap Hurdle Race, the Wayward Lad Novices’ Steeple Chase and, of course, The Desert Orchid Chase.
Day 1 – 26 December
🗝️ Gates open: 10.00am.
🏇 First race: 12.50pm.
🏇 King George VI Chase: 3.05pm.
🏇 Last race: 3.40pm.
Day 2 – 27 December
🗝️ Gates open: 10.30am.
🏇 First race: 12.50pm.
🏇 Last race: 3.35pm.
Tickets in advance for the Christmas Festival at Kempton Park are available via the ‘Get Tickets’ link.
🎟️ Tickets on the day subject to availability. A sell-out is possible so checking the Kempton Park Racecourse Twitter feed before travelling is recommended.
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Kempton Park Racecourse is located just 16 miles from the city and 6 miles from Heathrow Airport. It is easily accessible by both rail and car. Kempton Park station is a 2 minute walk from the North Entrance and a 45 minute train journey from London Waterloo. If arriving by car for the Christmas Festival you can book parking in advance on-site at the same time as purchasing a ticket, but not places are selling fast. There is also free parking in the centre of the course, accessible via Gate 6 on the A308 (Staines Road East).
If parking here, please note course crossings close 30 minutes before racing starts and re-open 30 minutes after the last race. There is also a free Park & Ride service from the BP site on Cadbury Road (TW16 7LN for your Sat Nav) which is approximately ten minutes from the racecourse, with buses running all morning and then re-commencing after the last race.