Kempton Course Guide

The closest racecourse to central London, situated 16 miles south-west of Trafalgar Square, Kempton Park is famously home of the Christmas jumping showpiece, the King George VI Chase. First run in 1937, the three-mile chase is the second-most important steeplechase in the calendar and boasts a roll of honour equal to the Gold Cup itself. The big race is the feature on a brilliant Boxing Day card that also includes the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle and Feltham Novices’ Chase.

Other significant jump races at Kempton are the Lanzarote Hurdle in late January and, a month later, the Betbright Chase – a handicap over three miles won in the past by Desert Orchid and Rough Quest.

Kempton now stages flat racing throughout the year after its turf course was replaced with a Polytrack synthetic surface in 2006. All of Kempton’s historic races have been transferred to the ‘all-weather’ including the Easter Stakes, Magnolia Stakes and Rosebery Handicap.

Kempton Flat Racing (All-Weather)Timeform

Kempton switched to an all-weather track in 2006 and the surface in use is polytrack. Kempton is a flat, oval-shaped course with two loops. The inner circuit, used for races over five, nine and ten furlongs is sharp and has a finishing straight of just under two furlongs, favouring the speedy, handy type, particularly over the minimum trip. The turn on the outer course is more sweeping and the straight is almost three furlongs, making for a more straightforward test. Over both five and six furlongs, there is a relatively short run to the first bend.

The way the track is prepared at Kempton can play a massive part in whether it suits front-runners or horses coming from behind. Most of the time, the going is officially rated ‘standard’ but I know, from having ridden in America, that all artificial surfaces are dependent on weather conditions. An inside draw is a big advantage on the round course, as you don’t want to be running wide, and there’s a tendency for jockeys to get going a long from home. My preference would be to use patient tactics.

View from the saddle: Jason WeaverJason Weaver
Kempton Jumps RacingTimeform

Right handed, flat. Very fair with relatively easy fences, the course characteristics having seemingly remained the same since the opening of the all-weather circuit. Can represent a much stiffer test of stamina than expected on soft/heavy going.

It’s changed a fair bit in recent years, with the Polytrack crossings and all, but I’d still have to say it’s one of my favourite courses. It’s a great test and a fair test. You need a horse that travels and jumps, though, and one of the things you always notice around Kempton is that lots of runners are usually in contention turning in, but those same horses are often well spaced out by the time they get to the last. It’s only a short run from the home turn to that obstacle, but only horses that are travelling well are able to take a breather on that section, while those that have been struggling are having to work too hard to last home.

View from the saddle: Mick FitzgeraldMick Fitzgerald

Current Going

  • Standard

Current Weather

Forecast: Sunny spells

Temperature: 4.1° - 10.4°

Rainfall: 0.01cm

Wind: 10.8mph W

Last Update: 21/03/2018 12:00

Forecast: Cloudy

Temperature: 6.7° - 10.7°

Rainfall: None

Wind: 13.0mph SW

Last Update: 21/03/2018 12:00

Upcoming Races


17:45 Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap

(Class 5) (1m)

18:15 Better Odds With Matchbook Novice Stakes (Div 1)

(Class 5) (1m)

18:45 Better Odds With Matchbook Novice Stakes (Div 2)

(Class 5) (1m)

19:15 Commission Free Racing At Matchbook Median Auction Maiden Fillies' Stakes

(Class 6) (1m 2f 219y)

19:45 Matchbook Casino Handicap

(Class 4) (7f)

20:15 Matchbook Betting Podcast Handicap

(Class 4) (6f)

20:45 Matchbook Racing Is Commission Free Handicap

(Class 6) (6f)

21:15 Pat Hughes Memorial Handicap

(Class 6) (1m 7f 218y)

Address & Contact

Kempton Park
Staines Road East
Sunbury on Thames
TW16 5AQ
01932 782292

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