King George VI Chase heroes

For racing fans, the real Christmas Day comes a day later, as the hotly anticipated King George VI Chase at Kempton Park takes centre stage on Boxing Day!

We no doubt expect that after your Christmas Day meal, while your friends and family will be watching the endless repeats of all-time Christmas classics on TV, you’ll be on the sofa on your tablet/ phone/ computer trying to search for 2019 King George VI Chase winner.

Here, we take a look back at King George VI Chase heroes that made the race great.

Arkle – 1965


Rated by many experts as the greatest Jumps racehorse of all time, Arkle (picture above) wowed the masses with his sensational displays of precise jumping and courageous determination that guaranteed his place in racing folklore.

Renowned for his three Gold Cup victories, including his famous duel with Mill House in 1965, ‘Himself’ was also victorious at Kempton Park in the 1965 King George VI Chase.

Masterfully trained by Tom Dreaper, Arkle provided his connections with more festive joy with an emphatic victory in the Boxing Day contest.

Desert Orchid – 1990

How could you not love ‘Dessie’? A Trojan of a racehorse, the David Elsworth-trained star re-wrote the record books with four King George VI Chase victories, including his final triumph in 1990.

One Man – 1996

Winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, One Man came into his own in the King George VI Chase. Dubbed the ‘new Desert Orchid’, he demonstrated his class with two effortless displays, including this victory in 1996.

Best Mate – 2002

Like his name suggests, he was every racing fan’s best mate. Notorious for his Gold Cup triumphs at the Cheltenham Festival, Best Mate was also successful on the one occasion at Kempton Park in the 2002 King George VI Chase under Champion Jockey AP McCoy. He really was an exceptional talent.

Kauto Star – 2011

The modern day great. Trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh had a whirlwind with this star. The only horse to ever regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Kauto Star is the most successful horse in the King George VI Chase with an astonishing five victories. We dare you not to be slightly emotional when watching his final win. He was the epitome of equine perfection.


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