Located on the border between Surrey and Greater London, Kempton Park Racecourse boasts both flat racing and National Hunt courses. That means that it can offer punters a wealth of different race-types, not least thanks to the fact that the flat racing takes place on an all-weather course and can therefore take place throughout the year. It is known primarily as a flat racing venue, but the presence of the National Hunt course means that fans of jump racing can still get to experience some top-class events in their chosen field if they go at the right time.
Fixtures at Kempton Park Racecourse
There are a number of big races that take place on the Kempton Park course, all of which have meetings that are based around them. Unquestionably, the biggest event is the King George VI Chase, which traditionally takes place on Boxing Day. It is proof, perhaps, that the course’s reputation as a flat racing venue isn’t entire fair when you consider the fact that this race features 18 fences to be jumped. It has been taking place since 1937, being named in honour of the monarch of the time. Only the Cheltenham Gold Cup surpasses it in terms of importance as a steeplechase in England.
That, perhaps, is why there is a meeting of decent races built around it. The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, named after the famous Kauto Star, takes place on the same day and is another Grade 1 event to challenge novice steeplechasers. The day after, meanwhile, sees the running of the Desert Orchid Chase, which is also named after a well-known horse. That is a Grade 2 race that is the feature race of the second day of the meeting. The aim is to make use of the 1 mile and five furlong National Hunt course that is onsite, even though it is mostly flat barring the obstacles.
Kempton Park Racecourse also plays host to the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase, which is what is known as a Premier Handicap steeplechase. It was first run in 1949 and used to be a Grade 3 event, only changing when the British Horseracing Authority changed its rules around such events. It is seen as a trial for the Grand National, which is why it holds such import in the eyes of the racing world. It isn’t just flat racing that takes place at the course, however. The September Stakes is a Group 3 race that, as the name suggests, is scheduled to take place in September.
Both films and TV shows have been recorded at Kempton Park Racecourse, but it is something altogether more wholesome that it is best-known for. Once a week there is a market hosted by the course, seeing people from far and wide come to buy and sell goods. On the second and last Tuesday of the month, meanwhile, there is an antiques market that welcomes people with goods that might end up going for a pretty penny. They might interfere with a wedding from time to time, given that they take place on a regular basis at the course.