Kempton Winter Festival 2021 Betting Tips - Kempton Racing Odds

Racing fans are in for a Christmas cracker of a meeting at Kempton as their Christmas Festival brings us the King George VI Chase and much more besides.

Date Race
26/12 3:00 PMKing George VI ChaseAll OddsAll Odds

December is a great time of year for sports lovers, and not least for racing fans. While there are plenty of attractive race meetings around the festive period, the Winter Festival at Kempton has to top the bill, with the undoubted highlight being the King George VI Chase that runs on Boxing Day.

While the King George is one of the best chases of the National Hunt season, it is supported by a number of other top quality races at this two day meeting. Here we’ll run through the highlights on the card at Kempton and also give you some betting pointers and strategies to help you pick out some winning racing bets. Of course our racing odds comparison is the place to go to get the latest prices on all of the runners at Kempton.

Racing Betting Highlights

For a two day meeting in the midst of winter, there is plenty to get excited about at Kempton’s Winter Festival. The obvious starting point is the festival highlight, the King George VI Chase. But fans of hurdles are treated to a classy affair in the form of the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, with the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase and Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Hurdle giving well-earned nods to two of the greats of the National Hunt game.

The King George VI Chase is a challenge to say the least. As well as being three miles in distance and having 18 testing fences to negotiate, the fact that it takes place on Boxing Day means it’s never going to be exactly clement conditions for runners and riders. This Grade 1 affair is one of the biggest and most hotly anticipated races of the season, not least because it can often point towards some serious contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup taking place the following March.

The Christmas Hurdle, meanwhile, is a gift to those who like betting on hurdles. This two miler has eight obstacles to hop over and it can prove a handy marker for runners who are building towards the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Indeed four winners of this race have gone on to Champion Hurdle success, most recently Faugheen who won this one in 2014 and 2015 and the Champion Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

The Desert Orchid Chase was introduced to the Kempton card in 2006, soon after the horse after which it is named died. The famous grey captured the hearts of racing fans across the country, not least with his four victories in the King George VI Chase and his memorable 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup win, and this race stands as a fitting tribute. Since its inauguration some more modern stars of racing have had success in the race including Sire De Grugy, Special Tiara and the inimitable Sprinter Sacre.

The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase is named after another legend of the sport and Kauto Star went one better than Desert Orchid when he won the King George a record five times and also became the first horse to recapture the Gold Cup. When Lizzie Kelly won this race on Tea For Tea in 2015 she became the first female jockey to ride a winner in a grade 1 race in the UK.

Betting Strategies and Pointers

As mentioned, Boxing Day in England is open to potentially severe weather conditions and this meeting has been postponed a couple of times in recent years due to snow and frost. As such, it certainly pays to keep an eye on the weather forecast when planning your bets for this meeting. Clearly runners who thrive in soft and heavy ground have a better-than-usual chance of getting the conditions they want at this time of year, so if placing ante post bets far in advance, it makes sense to opt for these over lovers of good ground.

Key Trends

While the King George is open to runners aged four and older, it’s rare for four year olds to even be entered into the race. Indeed, since the race was inaugurated in 1937 there has been only one five year old winner, Manicou in 1950. Ahead of the 2018 race, there have been a total of eight six year old winners, 18 aged seven, 20 eight year olds, 12 nine year olds, four age 10, three aged 11 and a single 12 year old, Southern Hero, in the very first renewal in 1937.

At the time of writing, Paul Nicholls is the leading trainer for the King George having saddled nine winners between 1997 and 2014, while Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson have also scored recent successes. In fact you have to go back to 2005 to find a winner of the King George who didn’t come from the stables of one of those three maestros.

The Christmas Hurdle is similar to the King George in terms of the age of the winners. The last four year old victor was Kerawi in 1997, with Kribensis (1988) and Coral Diver (1969) being the only other two youngsters to win in the last 50 years. It’s far better to opt for a five or six year old based on recent trends.

Ante post betting can pay off on the biggest races at this meeting if looking at the form from the previous season, either at the Cheltenham Festival the previous March or other key races. Our odds comparison allows you to compare the betting odds from the best bookies around so you can also be confident you will get the best value prices whoever you fancy at Kempton.

Kempton Winter Festival – A Brief History

The Kempton Winter Festival is built around one of the biggest chases on the National Hunt calendar, the King George VI Chase. This race, as mentioned earlier, was first run back in 1937 and named after the then King of the United Kingdom. There were only two renewals of the race before the Second World War, during which Kempton Park was used for military purposes. The race returned in 1947 on Boxing Day (rather than February as it had been prior to the war), and there it has remained ever since, postponements and cancellations aside.

The Winter Festival has grown in prestige over the years with new races added and an increasing level of interest from racing fans who enjoy the festival nature of the event. Whether you are interesting in the Winter Festival for the spectacle or the many betting opportunities available, there will definitely be plenty of races for you to enjoy.