A Guide to Kempton Park Racecourse
What You Need to Know
- Kempton Park has been holding popular race meets since the 1870s and is now a staple of the racing circuit
- With the opening of an all-weather track in 2005, Kempton hosts races all year round
- The highlight of the season is the winter racing festival, which includes the prestigious King George VI Chase
- One other Christmas highlight is the Katuo Star Novices' Chase, which features the best young novices
- Kempton Park is easy to reach, being just off the main A308 and connected to London Waterloo by regular direct trains
- The many races at Kempton Park are perfect for betting, especially the major Grade I events
- The best way of having a flutter on a horse is to sign up for an online betting account. This way you can enjoy the best selection of betting markets and odds
A Quick Overview
Kempton Park is one of the oldest and best-loved racecourses in the whole of the UK.
Racing was first held on the grounds of the Kempton Manor and Park back in 1878, with the first event organised by prominent businessman S.H. Hyde. Within a few years, the venue had firmly established itself as an integral part of the English racing circuit, with the first royal guest welcomed in 1889.
Over the years the venue has been consistently expanded and modernised, though racing was suspended during both of the World Wars.
More recently, the current grandstand was officially opened in 1997, while the all-weather floodlit course, designed to let the venue host races over the winter months, was completed in 2005.
These days, Kempton is one of the busiest horse racing venues in the country, hosting dozens of events all year round. It's also a popular place for private parties and corporate conferences and events, while the Kempton Live series of live concerts attract tens of thousands of visitors each summer.
Kempton Park hosts a huge range of races, including National Hunt events (jump races) and flat races. Thanks to the recent introduction of an all-weather track, racing takes place right through the year, with some winter meets among the venue's most popular events.
Here are some of the main highlights of the Kempton racing calendar, with all of these events popular with spectators and sports betting fans alike:
- King George VI Chase: The highlight of the annual Winter Festival of racing, this Grade I race is run over three miles, with 18 fences to be jumped. Traditionally, the race always takes place on Boxing Day and is open to horses aged four years or over. With a purse of around £200,000, it attracts the very best thoroughbreds and trainers. Past winners include Kauto Star, who holds the record of five wins, while Ruby Walsh is also the most successful jockey with five wins as well.
- Kauto Star Novices' Chase: Also taking place on Boxing Day, this Grade I National Hunt chase is aimed at novice chasers. As with the King George VI stakes, it's run over three miles, with 18 fences. As of 2013, the race has been officially named the Kauto Star Novices' Chase; prior to this, it was known as the Feltham Novices' Chase.
- Desert Orchid Chase: Another winter racing favourite, this Grade 2 National Hunt chase is traditionally held on December 27. The race is run over a distance of just two miles, with 12 fences to be jumped. Notably, Desert Orchid never actually competed in this race, since it was only set up in 2006, though it was named after the legendary thoroughbred due to his other successes at Kempton.
- Lanzarote Hurdle Day: Taking place in the second week of January, this special day features the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle, previously held at Sandown Park. The day is popular with hurdling enthusiasts and, though it may not draw the crowds like other events, it's known for being excellent for betting.
- BetBright Chase: Held at the end of February, this Grade 3 National Hunt race is open to horses aged five years or older. While it may not be the most prestigious of races, it serves as a trial for the Grand National so it always gets lots of attention and often attracts some of the best thoroughbreds.
- Sirenia Stakes: The late-summer highlight at Kempton is the Sirenia Stakes, a Group 3 flat race run over six furlongs. With a purse of £40,000, the event attracts some top horses and riders. As of 2006, the race is run on the all-weather track, something which needs to be taken into account when betting on the race.
- Kempton Live: Also taking place on a Saturday in early September, Kempton Live features a day of racing followed by an evening of live music. The day is popular with families and attracts newcomers to racing, with fun flutters more common than serious bets.
Getting to Kempton Park
Getting to Kempton Park is simple and straightforward, whether you're travelling by car or public transport. Here's what you need to know about getting to the racecourse:
- By Train: Getting to Kempton Park by train could not be easier. The racecourse has its own station, Kempton Park, which is served by direct trains from London Waterloo. The journey from central London is just 40 minutes and, once you get off at Kempton Park station, you will see the entrance to the race course right in front of you.
- By Road: If you're coming by car, then you will find Kempton Park on the main A308 between Sunbury on Thames and Hampton Court. The entrance to the venue is just by Junction 1 of the M3. You will find plenty of car parking spaces, with priority spaces for horse owners, trainers and guests with disabled badges. The postcode for your sat-nav system is TW6 5AQ.
- By Air: The major Kempton races attract guests from all round the world. If you are flying in for a race, then Kempton Park is easily reached from both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. What's more, you can even land a helicopter on the grounds, so long as you get permission beforehand.
Betting at Kempton Park
The racing calendar at Kempton Park offers plenty of great opportunities for having a flutter on the horses. In fact, whether you're new to betting on horses and just want a fun flutter or you're a seasoned veteran keen to make some serious money, betting on the action couldn't be easier.
The best way to put money on the races at Kempton Park is to sign up for an online sports betting account. By going online you'll be able to find the best selection of betting markets rather than simply being able to find odds on the biggest events, as is often the case with high street bookies. Plus, by signing up for more than one account, you'll be able to shop around for the best odds and so boost your potential winnings.
Check out this guide to the best online sports betting sites for having a flutter on the horses and open an account today to take advantage of some great introductory offers.
- Planning on seeing the Kempton Park in person? Visit the official website before you visit: http://www.kempton.co.uk
- Before you have a flutter, check out this guide on how to bet on horses: http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Sports/Article/How_to_Bet_on_a_Horse-106074.html