Kempton Park Racecourse History

The Hampton Court area of London, near Sunbury-on-Thames, has seen a number of racecourses since the middle of the 19th century. Firstly there was Hampton racecourse which was not enclosed, and then on roughly the same site Hurst Park which was enclosed, as well as two modern Park courses, Sandown and Kempton. In 1872 businessman Mr S Hyde was returning home after watching the Derby when he spotted a 400 acre site formerly the Manor of Kempton. He purchased the site and set about transforming it into a fully enclosed Park racecourse. Kempton Park first opened for business on Thursday 18th July 1878 when it staged its first Flat race meeting. Full details of that inaugural meeting are shown below courtesy of the Sporting Times and British Newspaper Online. To mark Queen Victoria's 50th year as Queen, the Grand Jubilee Handicap was run for the first time on Saturday 7th May 1887, resulting in a win for Bendigo, and 22 years later she still occupied the throne in 1895 when the 2 mile Queen’s Prize was run for the first time. During the First World War, between 1914 and 1918, Kempton was used as a military transport depot. Fire destroyed the old grandstand in 1932 and it was two years before a new grandstand was completed and opened. The Grade 1 King George VI Chase, over 3 miles, was first contested in February 1937 when won by Southern Hero. Racing lapsed again between 1939 and 1946 when the course was used as a Prisoner of War camp. In 1966 a meeting, meant to be one of the most exciting days in Kempton’s history, turned out to be a sad one when Arkle sustained an injury in the King George VI Chase, so ending his magnificent career. The King George VI (full results shown below) remains one of the highlights of Kempton’s racing programme which continues to offer top quality racing across both codes. Currently the course offers 69 fixtures annually.

Older racegoers might question whether bookmakers are less generous today than in 1878. The extract from the Sporting Times of Saturday 20th July 1878 might provide the answer.

Kempton still thrives today, although in early 2017 rumours began to surface about possible development of the land on which the racecourse stands, whereas nearby Hurst Park closed its gates for the final time in 1962.

When Hampton Racecourse closed a group of local businessmen spotted an opportunity and formed the Hurst Park Club Syndicate Limited in 1889, with the sole intention of buying the old Hampton site and developing a closed course. This they did, but the problem was it was too small for Flat racing, only operating for a short time.  Not to be deterred, they purchased nearby meadowland and extended the course to ensure that the Jockey Club would issue a licence to host Flat meetings. The first meeting to take place on Hurst Park, the replacement for Hampton Court Racecourse, was on Wednesday 19th March 1890 for a National Hunt meeting and Wednesday 25th March 1891 for a Flat race meeting. By the turn of the century the course was hosting top class racing and attracting the best horses. In 1901 the Derby winner Volodyovski was beaten by the Duke of Portland’s William the Third. Racing ceased from 1916 to 1918 for the First World War, and there was no racing from 1940 to 1945 when the course was used as a military camp for the Second World War. To recognise the significant part Winston Churchill had played in securing victory in the war, the Winston Churchill Stakes was first run in 1946. Winston Churchill visited the racecourse on a number of occasions, but his most exciting visit was in 1951 when his grey horse Colonist II won the Winston Churchill Stakes. The win was a very popular one and the course continued to be extremely well supported by the general public. However, the original venture was a business venture and the Company were keen to maximise their profit. They realised that the racecourse land was significantly more valuable as development land. The final meeting was held on Wednesday 10th October 1962.

Saturday 26th May 1951
White Rose Stakes over 1 mile 7 furlongs
1. Colonist II, grey horse owned by Winston Churchill
2. Pan II, ridden by R.Poincelet
3. Above Board, ridden by W.H.Carr
Betting: 2/1 Colonist II, 2/1 Above Board, 7/2 Pan II

Kempton 1896.JPG (16500 bytes)
I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
1899 Ladies 1899 Gents 1899 Gents 1900 Ladies 1901 Ladies

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

1905 Gents 1906 Gents 1906 Ladies 1907 Ladies 1907 Gents
1908 Ladies 1908 Gents 1909 Ladies 1910 Member
1910 Gents 1910 Ladies 1911 Gents 1911 Ladies 1911 Member
1912 Ladies 1913 Gents 1913 Ladies 1913 Member
1914 Ladies 1914 Gents 1915 Gents 1915 Ladies 1920 Ladies
1921 Gents 1921 Ladies 1922 Member 1922 Ladies 1922 Gents
1923 Ladies 1923 Gents 1924 Gents 1924 Ladies
1925 Ladies 1926 Gents 1926 Ladies 1927 Gents 1927 Ladies
1928 Gents 1929 Ladies 1929 Gents 1930 Ladies 1930 Gents
1931 Ladies 1931 Gents 1932 Ladies 1933 Gents 1933 Ladies
1934 Gents 1934 Ladies 1935 Gents 1935 Ladies 1936 Gents
1936 Ladies 1937 Gents 1938 Ladies 1938 Gents 1939 Ladies

1937 The King George VI Chase was won by Southern Hero trained by G.Evans and ridden by J.Fawcus
1938 The King George VI Chase was won by Airgead Sios trained by V.Tabor and ridden by T.McNeill

1939 Gents 1947 Ladies 1947 Gents 1948 Ladies 1948 Gents

1939-46 The King George VI Chase was not contested due to Kempton being used as a reception centre for prisoners-of-war
1947 The King George VI Chase was won by Rowland Roy trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Bryan Marshall
1948 The King George VI Chase was won by Cottage Rake trained by Vincent O’Brien and ridden by Aubrey Brabazon

Kempton 1950re.JPG (19859 bytes) Kempton 1950m.JPG (16688 bytes) Kempton 1951.JPG (13819 bytes)
1949 Ladies 1949 Gents 1950 Ladies 1950 Gents 1951 Ladies

1949 The King George VI Chase was won by Finnure trained by George Beeby and ridden by Dick Francis
1950 The King George VI Chase was won by Manicou trained by Peter Cazalet and ridden by Bryan Marshall

Kempton 1952a.JPG (10146 bytes)
1951 Gents 1952 Ladies 1952 Gents 1953 Ladies 1953 Gents

1951 The King George VI Chase was won by Stagecraft trained by Peter Cazalet and ridden by Tony Grantham
1952 The King George VI Chase was won by Halloween trained by Bill Wightman and ridden by Fred Winter
1953 The King George VI Chase was won by Galloway Braes trained by Alec Kilpatrick and ridden by Bert Morrow

Kempton 1954z.JPG (7579 bytes)
1954 Ladies 1954 Gents 1955 Ladies 1955 Gents 1956 Ladies

1954 The King George VI Chase was won by Halloween trained by Bill Wightman and ridden by Fred Winter
1955 The King George VI Chase was won by Limber Hill trained by Bill Dutton and ridden by Jimmy Power
1956 The King George VI Chase was won by Rose Park trained by Peter Cazalet and ridden by Michael Scudamore

1956 Gents 1957 Ladies 1957 Gents 1958 Ladies 1958 Gents

1957 The King George VI Chase was won by Mandarin trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Gerry Madden
1958 The King George VI Chase was won by Lochroe trained by Peter Cazalet and ridden by Arthur Freeman

1959 Ladies 1959 Gents 1960 Ladies 1960 Gents 1962 Ladies

1959 The King George VI Chase was won by Mandarin trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Gerry Madden
1960 The King George VI Chase was won by Saffron Tartan trained by Don Butchers and ridden by Fred Winter

1961 Matched Pair 1962 Gents 1963 Ladies 1963 Gents

1961 The King George VI Chase was not contested because of frost
1962 The King George VI Chase was not contested because of frost
1963 The King George VI Chase was won by Mill House trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Willie Robinson

1964 Gents 1964 Ladies 1965 Gents 1965 Ladies 1966 Gents

1964 The King George VI Chase was won by Frenchman’s Cove trained by Harry Thomson-Jones and ridden by Stan Mellor
1965 The King George VI Chase was won by Arkle trained by Tom Dreaper and ridden by Pat Taaffe
1966 The King George VI Chase was won by Dormant trained by John Wells-Kendrew and ridden by Jeff King

1966 Ladies 1967 Ladies 1967 Gents 1968 Gents 1968 Ladies

1967 The King George VI Chase was not contested because of foot and mouth disease
1968 The King George VI Chase was not contested due to foot and mouth disease
1969 The King George VI Chase was won by Titus Oats trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Stan Mellor

1969 Ladies 1969 Gents 1970 Gents 1970 Ladies 1971 Gents

1970 The King George VI Chase was not contested because of snow
1971 The King George VI Chase was won by The Dikler trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Barry Brogan

1971 Ladies 1972 Gents 1972 Ladies 1973 Gents 1973 Ladies

1972 The King George VI Chase was won by Pendil trained by Fred Winter and ridden by Richard Pitman
1973 The King George VI Chase was won by Pendil trained by Fred Winter and ridden by Richard Pitman
1974 The King George VI Chase was won by Captain Christy trained by Pat Taaffe and ridden by Bobby Coonan

1974 Gents 1974 Ladies 1975 Gents 1975 Ladies 1976 Ladies

1975 The King George VI Chase was won by Captain Christy trained by Pat Taaffe and ridden by Gerry Newman
1976 The King George VI Chase was won by Royal Marshall II trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Graham Thorner

1976 Gents 1977 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents 1980 Gents

1977 The King George VI Chase was won by Bachelor’s Hall trained by Peter Cundell and ridden by Martin O’Halloran
1978 The King George VI Chase was won by Gay Spartan trained by Tony Dickinson and ridden by Tommy Carmody
1979 The King George VI Chase was won by Silver Buck trained by Tony Dickinson and ridden by Tommy Carmody
1980 The King George VI Chase was won by Silver Buck trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Tommy Carmody
1981 The King George VI Chase was not contested due to snow

1981 Gents 1982 Gents 1983 Gents 1984 Joint Membership 1984 Gents

1982 The King George VI Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by John Francome
1983 The King George VI Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Robert Earnshaw
1984 The King George VI Chase was won by Burrough Hill Lad trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome

1985 Joint Membership 1985 Gents 1986 Joint Membership 1986 Gents 1987 Joint Membership

1985 The King George VI Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Monica Dickinson and ridden by Graham Bradley
1986 The King George VI Chase was won by Desert Orchid trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Simon Sherwood
1987 The King George VI Chase was won by Nupsala trained by Francois Doumen and ridden by Andre Pommier

1987 Gents 1988 Joint Membership 1988 Gents 1989 Joint Membership 1989 Gents

1988 The King George VI Chase was won by Desert Orchid trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Simon Sherwood
1989 The King George VI Chase was won by Desert Orchid trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1990 The King George VI Chase was won by Desert Orchid trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Richard Dunwoody

1990 Joint Membership 1990 Gents 1991 Joint Membership 1991 Gents 1992 Gents

1991 The King George VI Chase was won by The Fellow trained by Francois Doumen and ridden by Adam Kondrat
1992 The King George VI Chase was won by The Fellow trained by Francois Doumen and ridden by Adam Kondrat
1993 The King George VI Chase was won by Barton Bank trained by David Nicholson and ridden by Adrian Maguire

1993 Joint Membership 1993 Gents 1994 Jumps 1994 Gents 1994 Junior

1994 The King George VI Chase was won by Algan trained by Francois Doumen and ridden by Philippe Chevalier
1995 The King George VI Chase (run at Sandown because of snow at Kempton) was won by One Man trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Richard Dunwoody

Kempton jumps 1996.JPG (9357 bytes)
1995 Gents 1995 Gents Flat 1995 Junior Flat 1995 Flat Member 1996 Jumps

1996 The King George VI Chase was won by One Man trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Richard Dunwoody

1996 Gents 1997 Gents 1997 Jumps 1998 Flat 1998 Gents

1997 The King George VI Chase was won by See More Business trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Andrew Thornton
1998 The King George VI Chase was won by Teeton Mill trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Norman Williamson

1999 Flat 1999 Gents 1999 Pertemps 1999 Jumps 2000 Gents

1999 The King George VI Chase was won by See More Business trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Mick Fitzgerald
2000 The King George VI Chase was won by First Gold trained by Francois Doumen and ridden by Thierry Doumen

2000 Pertemps 2000 Jumps 2000 United 2001 Gents 2001 United

2001 The King George VI Chase was won by Florida Pearl trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Adrian Maguire

2001 United 2001 Pertemps 2001 Staff 2001 Jumps 2002 United
2002 Gents 2002 Flat 2002 Pertemps 2002 Staff 2002 Race Committee

2002 The King George VI Chase was won by Best Mate trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Tony McCoy

2002 Jumps 2003 Flat 2003 United 2003 Jumps 2003 Pertemps

2003 The King George VI Chase was won by Edredon Bleu trained by Henriette Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty

2003 Gents 2004 Jumps 2005 Gents 2006 Jumps 2006 Honorary Member

2004 The King George VI Chase was won by Kicking King trained by Tom Taaffe and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2005 The King George VI Chase (run at Sandown because Kempton was closed for refurbishment) was won by Kicking King trained by Tom Taaffe and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2006 The King George VI Chase was won by Kauto Star trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh

2006 Flat 2007 Honorary Member 2007 Flat 2007 Jumps 2008 Honorary Member

2007 The King George VI Chase was won by Kauto Star trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2008 The King George VI Chase was won by Kauto Star trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh

2008 Jumps 2009 Honorary Member 2010 Honorary Member 2013 Jumps 2014 Flat
2009 The King George VI Chase was won by Kauto Star trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2010 The King George VI Chase (run on 15th January 2011 due to snow on Boxing Day) was won by Long Run trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
2011 The King George VI Chase was won by Kauto Star trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2012 The King George VI Chase was won by Long Run trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
2013 The King George VI Chase was won by Silviniaco Conti trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Noel Fehily
2014 The King George VI Chase was won by Silviniaco Conti trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Noel Fehily
       
2015 Flat        

2015 The King George VI Chase was won by Cue Card trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by Paddy Brennan
2016 The King George VI Chase was won by Thistlecrack trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by Tom Scudamore


ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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