The King George VI Chase is one of the most prestigious and eagerly-anticipated horse racing events of the UK’s national hunt calendar.

The race was inaugurated in 1937 and named after the newly crowned King. It takes place each year on Boxing Day at Kempton Park, near London.

The best horses from England and Ireland compete to take home the crown and the chance to feature in the record books.

So just which of the best horses in the UK are going to be competing in 2023 and what are all the odds?

Odds on the 2023 King George Chase

Betfred is already offering odds on the 2023 King George VI Chase. The current favourite is Bravemansgame, trained by Paul Nicholls and looking to repeat his success of 2022.

He is currently the 13/8 favourite, with Shishkin, trained by Nicky Henderson, close behind at 7/2.

Now that we’re closer to the time of the race, we have all of the odds but just note that these are ante-post.

That means if you back a horse now and for any reason they do not run in the race, you will lose your bet.

Horse Odds
Bravemansgame 13/8
Shishkin 7/2
Allaho 5/1
Galopin Des Champs 9/1
L’Homme Presse 10/1
Gerri Colombe 10/1
The Real Whacker 12/1
Protektorat 20/1
Pic D’orhy 20/1
Hewick 25/1
Edwardstone 33/1
Conflated 33/1
Midnight River 33/1
Royal Pagaille 33/1
Frodon 40/1
Gran Diose 50/1
Shan Blue 66/1
Fugitif 66/1
My Drogo 66/1
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King George VI 2023 Tips

While it might seem difficult to bet against Bravemansgame as he won this race in 2022, if you’re looking for more value in the odds, there are a few others worth a closer look.

Allaho may be one to watch from Willie Mullins. On a winning streak of five back-to-back wins, including the Punchestown Gold Cup in April, Allaho has never run at Kempton before so Mullins must really think he has a shot to send him this year.

Also from Willie Mullins is Galopin Des Champs. The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, he beat Bravemansgame in that race by a whopping seven lengths.

So with form against the favourite he is definitely worth considering at odds of 10/1.

What Makes the Race So Exciting?

King George VI Chase is also one of the most fiercely competitive races on the calendar. The prize money on offer assures a high-quality field, with the winner pocketing over £142,000.

The race also presents an opportunity for horses to prove themselves against some of the best chasers in Europe. From jump jockeys to trainers and owners, this is one event where all eyes are on the winning horse and its rider.

The race is part of the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown, which rewards a £1 million bonus to any horse that wins the Betfair Chase, Ladbrokes King George VI Chase, and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The Kauto Star Trophy, named after the legendary chaser who won the race five times, will accompany the cash prize.

Past Winners & Notable Horses

The King George VI Chase has seen some of the most famous horses in jump racing compete for victory.

From Kauto Star to Desert Orchid, Long Run and One Man, the race has a long list of champions – all worthy of their place in history.

  1. Earliest Winner: The first winner of the King George VI Chase was Southern Hero in 1937.
  2. Most Wins by a Horse: Kauto Star holds the record for the most victories in this race, with five wins (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011).
  3. Most Successful Trainer: Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the history of the King George VI Chase, with 13 wins including Kauto Star, See More Business, Silviniaco Conti, Clan des Obeaux, and others.
  4. Oldest Winning Horse: Southern Hero (1937) holds the record at 12 years old. Meanwhile, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star both achieved victory at the age of 11 in 1990 and 2011, respectively.
  5. Youngest Winning Horse: Manicou, who won in 1950, was the youngest winner at the age of 5.
  6. Most Wins by a Jockey: Ruby Walsh holds the record for the most victories as a jockey in this race, with five wins on Kauto Star.
  7. Successful Female Jockey: Bryony Frost became the first female jockey to win the King George VI Chase, riding Frodon to victory in 2020.
  8. French Connection: François Doumen, a French trainer, achieved notable success in the race, training four winners: Nupsala (1987), The Fellow (1991 and 1992), and First Gold (2000).
  9. Years Without Races: The King George VI Chase was not held in 1939-1946 due to World War II, 1961-1962 due to a harsh winter, 1967-1968 due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, 1970 due to abandonment, and 1981 due to snow.
  10. Dominant Decades: The 2000s and 2010s have been particularly dominated by certain horses, such as Kauto Star, and trainers like Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, who have produced multiple winners in those decades.

History of King George VI Chase

The race was first held in 1937 with the intention of creating a race that would rival the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National in terms of importance.

The King himself, George VI, was a keen racegoer and presented the inaugural trophy to Southern Hero, ridden by Dick Rees.

Since then, the race has gone from strength to strength, with famous names such as Desert Orchid, Kauto Star, and Long Run all making their mark.

The event remains a must-watch for racing fans and is an iconic part of British Boxing Day traditions.

Kempton Park

Kempton Park Racecourse has a rich history and is an integral part of British horse racing. The racecourse was established in 1878 by a 19th-century businessman and entrepreneur named S.H. Hyde.

The land on which the racecourse is situated was initially used for grazing and farming before Hyde transformed it into a racecourse.

His vision was to create a leisure facility for Londoners that would rival the likes of Epsom and Sandown Park.

Although initially developed for flat racing, Kempton Park eventually added jump racing to its schedule. The introduction of the King George VI Chase in 1937 was a significant moment in Kempton Park’s history.

In early 2017, the Jockey Club, which owns Kempton Park Racecourse, announced plans to sell the venue for housing development.

The proposal included possibly moving the King George VI Chase to Sandown Park. However, this proposal faced significant opposition from various quarters and the racing community.

Betfred

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The Record Holders

Kauto Star remains the most successful horse in the history of the King George VI Chase, having won five titles between 2006-2011.

Desert Orchid, fondly known as “Dessie,” was an iconic grey racehorse who achieved remarkable success in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, England.

He won the race four times, establishing himself as one of the all-time greats in National Hunt racing.

  1. 1986 Win: Desert Orchid claimed his first King George VI Chase victory on December 26, 1986, at the age of seven. Ridden by Simon Sherwood and trained by David Elsworth, his bold front-running and impressive jumping were on full display as he outperformed the field.
  2. 1988 Win: After skipping the 1987 edition, Dessie returned to win the King George VI Chase for the second time on December 26, 1988. With Simon Sherwood in the saddle again, he showcased his dominance and established himself as a Kempton Park specialist.
  3. 1989 Win: Desert Orchid achieved a hat-trick of King George VI Chase victories by winning the race again on December 26, 1989. This time ridden by Richard Dunwoody, his performance further cemented his legendary status in the steeplechasing world.
  4. 1990 Win: In an emotional and highly celebrated victory, Desert Orchid won the King George VI Chase for the fourth time on December 26, 1990, at the age of 11. With Richard Dunwoody as his jockey once again, Dessie defied his age to outclass his rivals.

Conclusion

If you enjoy watching horse racing, whether you are an experienced gambler or a casual fan, the King George VI Chase is a race that you cannot afford to miss.

The race will be shown live on ITV and RTV at 2.30pm on December 26th 2023.