King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 National Hunt race annually in England. It was inaugurated in 1937, and after only being run for two years, World War II commenced. And it had to be postponed for seven years from 1939 to 1946. The first time when this event occurred in 1937, it was won by a horse named Southern Hero, trained by G. Evans.
A year later, in 1938, it was won by Airgead Sios, trained by V. Tabor. The event came back in 1947 when a horse named Rowland Roy won. The horse was trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Bryan Marshall. Bryan Marshall then went on to win it again in 1950. This time he was on another horse named Manicou trained by Peter Cazalet. Peter Cazalet won King George VI Chase for the second time running in 1951. The horse was Statecraft and the jockey Tony Grantham.
Peter Cazalet was challenged by Bill Wightman, who won it for the first time in 1952 with a horse named Halloween and jockey Fred Winter. The second time he won it was in 1954, this time by the same horse and jockey. In 1955, it was won by a horse called Royal Tan with jockey Johnnie Craddock. The following year in 1956, it was won by another horse called Quare Times with jockey Fred Winter.
In 1957, it was won by a horse called Gaytime, which jockey Gordon Richards rode. 1959 saw the first-ever woman jockey ride in this event. Mrs. Gordon Richards rode the horse Big Game who won it for them. This same jockey was victorious again in 1961 with a Persian Warhorse.
1973 King George VI Chase
1973 saw Red Rum win his first King George VI Chase at Aintree Racecourse. By 1975, he had already won it three times consecutively. He did it so again in 1977 and 1978. In 1979, he won it consecutively for the fifth time and fourth time. Red Rum is also the only horse ever to win a Grand National and its Challenge Cup during three consecutive years (1973, 1974, 1975).
In 1980 the race was won by Little Polveir, who Peter Hobbs rode. The horse’s trainer was Jenny Pitman, and this time it was Jenny who won. She also won the 1983 race with Last Hope. 1988 saw another famous jockey win for the very first time; Steve Knight came out victorious after he had already competed in thirteen King George VI Chases before without luck. In 1990, he won it again on a horse called Garrison Savannah.
In 1992, the race was won by an Irish-bred horse called Desert Orchid, trained by David Elsworth and ridden by Carl Llewellyn. This very successful racehorse went on to win the race for the fourth time in 1993, 1994, and 1995. In 1996, the race was won by a horse called Kauto Star, who is considered one of the all-time greats in National Hunt racing. 2007 saw him win it for the third time, and 2009 saw him win it for the fourth time.
Kauto Star also happens to be the most successful horse in King George VI Chase history, with five wins. In 2001 the race was won by Mr. Frisk, who was trained by Barry Hills and ridden by Robert Thornton. In 2002, it was won for the first time by a Welsh-bred horse called Bindaree. He went on to win again in 2004 and 2006.
In 2010 a horse named Long Run was held victoriously, trained by the famous Nicky Henderson. The jockey was Sam Waley-Cohen. The record for most successful horse wins stands with Kauto Star with five wins. The record-leading jockey is Ruby Walsh, with five wins. And the leading record trainer is Paul Nicholls with 12 wins.
King George VI Chase is a prestigious event often referred to as the “Cheltenham Gold Cup of Jump Racing.” It is an annual National Hunt race open to horses aged five years or older. The race is run over about 3 miles and 2 furlongs (5,182 meters). It is one of the most critical races in the racing calendar in Britain.
The race has been taking place at Kempton Park Racecourse since 1939, except the years during World War II. It was the first time it was won by Southern Hero, who G. Evans trained. The jockey was T. Grantham. The race is usually won by a horse that is considered one of the best in the country, and many of the most successful horses in National Hunt racing have competed in this race.
Some of the most famous names in horse racing have won this event, including Peter Cazalet (1953, 1954, 1955), Fred Winter (1956, 1957), Gordon Richards (1959, 1961), Jenny Pitman (1973, 1983), Steve Knight (1988, 1990), David Elsworth (1992, 1994, 1995), Carl Llewellyn (1996, 1998), Barry Hills (2001, 2002), Nicky Henderson (2010, 2012, 2015), and many more.
Traditionally King George VI Chase has always been held on Boxing Day every year at Kempton Park Racecourse. In recent years it is usually attended by about 40,000 spectators.
In 1979, a famous horse from Ireland called Little Polvier came out victorious after being trained by Jenny Pitman. This was the first time a woman had ever won the race. In 1992, an Irish-bred horse called Desert Orchid won the race for the first time and went on to win it again in 1993, 1994, and 1995.