5 May 2014

KEMPTON SPECIALISTS: Long Run

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A duel King George winner, Long Run is without question one of the modern Kempton greats following his duo of Christmas successes in 2011 and 2012.

Having started his career in France when winning three of his four starts in Auteuil, the Cadoudal gelding was just four when winning on British debut in December 2009 for Nicky Henderson, in the formerly known Grade 1 Feltham Novices’ Chase – now donned the Kauto Star, one of Long Run’s great rivals.

WATCH: LONG RUN WINS THE 2012 KING GEORGE AT KEMPTON PARK [CREDIT: RACING TV]

As if to exact his ability and flexibility, he dropped back an entire mile when taking the Kingmaker at Warwick before finishing third in the old RSA at the Cheltenham Festival.

WATCH: TWO-TIME KING GEORGE WINNER LONG RUN ALSO WON THE GOLD CUP IN 2011 [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Another bronze medal followed in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Prestbury Park, before his made the most of his return to Sunbury-on-Thames in his King George debut, dethroning Kauto in the rescheduled event in January 2011.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Long Run won on seven occasions under the stewardship of Nicky Henderson

He beat the same rival, and his legendary stable-mate Denman, in an epic Gold Cup showdown two months later, but was then beaten in subsequent outings by Paul Nicholls’s superstar, including in the King George in what was Kauto Star’s fifth win in the race.

But without the presence of the great son of Village Star in the 2012 renewal, he would confirm his status as a Kempton great with a second win in the race under usual amateur pilot, Sam Wahley-Cohen, seeing off game Captain Chris by a neck.

RELIVE: Clondaw Castle’s Handicap Chase Heroics in February

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The Tom George-trained Clondaw Castle was rewarded for a string of consistent performances during the campaign with Grade 3 victory at Kempton in February.

The 9-year-old started his campaign with a solid second in the Old Roan at Aintree before victory at Newbury.

Trainer Tom George’s Clondaw Castle landed the Surrey spoils in February’s valuable handicap

He picked up the bronze medal in the rescheduled Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham and followed that up with a second over course-and-distance, but got his moment in the sun for connections when seeing off a strong-field under Johnny Burke.WATCH: CLONDAW CASTLE TAKES THE GRADE 3 CLOSE BROTHERS HANDICAP CHASE AT KEMPTON IN FEBRUARY 2021 [CREDIT: RACING TV]

His handler told Racing TV in the aftermath: “As a young horse he [Clondaw Castle] was always very keen and it was a question of restraining him. He has matured a lot. He was fourth in an Arkle, he won his bumper, novice hurdle.

“His owners have been incredibly patient as they have let me just tip along slowly, slowly and I’ve always said to them at the end of the day he is going to need three miles.

“They’ve let me wait to run him over three miles rather than push me. We wanted to wait and do it on a big day.”

Clondaw Castle ridden by jockey Jonathan Burke make their way out for the Betway Bowl Chase on Liverpool NHS Day of the 2021 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool

Bypassing the Cheltenham Festival, he finished second to Clan Des Obeaux in the Grade 1 Betway Bowl at the Grand National fixture earlier this month.

REPORT | Monday’s Race Action at Kempton Park

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It was an evening of mixed fortunes for Paul Nicholls, as the Ditcheat trainer departed Surrey with a quickfire double on the Kempton card.

Adrien Du Pont landed the first leg when comfortably securing victory in the Open Hunters’ Chase at the short price of 2/5, finishing 17 lengths ahead of Christopher Barber’s Enyove Special.

Samarrive completed the double less than half an hour later, with the exciting prospect overcoming a penalty to run out an easy winner in the Vbet Supports British Racing Novices’ Hurdle.

Champion Trainer-elect Paul Nicholls trained two winners on the Kempton card on Monday
WATCH: SAMARRIVE SCORES A BLOODLESS WIN AT KEMPTON ON HIS BRITISH DEBUT FOR PAUL NICHOLLS [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Ian Williams also recorded two winners on the Kempton card, landing success in the opening contest with Hydroplane.

The five-year-old was arguably given an easier task when Chez Hans unseated Angus Cheleda at the first hurdle but the gelding quickened up in the closing stages to win comfortably by seven lengths.

Ian Williams enjoyed Kempton success through Hydroplane and Psychedelic Rock

The Alvechurch-based trainer followed that up with victory in the Join Vbet Handicap Chase a few hours later with Psychedelic Rock, who managed to get the better of market favourite Templemark in the home straight.

Fergal O’Brien chalked up a maiden century of winners for the season in the closing contest, when 9/1 outsider Oscar Rose pushed away from the challenging Sir Valentine to land the 2m5f Handicap Hurdle.

WATCH: OSCAR ROSE BRINGS UP A CENTURY FOR THE SEASON FOR FERGAL O’BRIEN IN THE FINALE AT KEMPTON [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Mackenburg cruised to victory in the 2m5f Novices’ Hurdle for Donald McCain, while Michael Hawker’s Mortens Leam bounced back to form to win the Get Great Odds At Vbet Handicap Chase.

KEMPTON REWIND: Faugheen clears away with ease in the 2014 Christmas Hurdle

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With his unbeaten record still intact, Faugheen’s final stop on the road to the 2015 Cheltenham Festival came in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

The then six-year-old had been mightily impressive over obstacles, winning all seven of his starts under rules.

Willie Mullins’ rising star had only the one run under his belt that season before heading to the Christmas Festival, landing the Ascot Hurdle the month previously.

WATCH: FAUGHEEN WINS THE 2014 CHRISTMAS HURDLE UNDER RUBY WALSH [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The Irish-bred gelding cruised throughout the contest and he pushed in front of Blue Heron on the turn into the home straight.

After jumping the second last, Faugheen showed his class by easing away from the chasing pack and found himself five lengths clear at the final fence.

G8J2P9 Kempton Park Races – William Hill Winter Festival – Day One

Mullins’ talent did make a mistake going over the last but he continued to power on down the straight, winning by eight lengths.

Faugheen would go on to win the Champion Hurdle that season before going on to win seven more Grade 1s over both hurdles and fences.

Even though ‘the Machine’ is now 13, he is still yet to be retired.

Epatante wins the 2020 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
Nicky Henderson’s Epatante recently emulated Faugheen’s achievement
DID YOU KNOW? Faugheen was one of five horses to win this contest and the Champion Hurdle in the same season with Lanzarote (1973-74), Dawn Run (1983-84), Kribensis (1989-90) and Epatante (2019-20) all achieving the feat.

KEMPTON SPECIALISTS: All-Weather stars this campaign

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With National Hunt taking centre stage at Kempton Park on Monday, all-weather action is put on hold until 5th May.

But to whet the appetite for the return of the polytrack, we take a look at the current kings and queens of the Surrey track in the flat code during the 2020/21 season.

How many of these racing stars do you recognise?

Kempton Park is a dual-purpose course, hosting both jump and flat racing

Take a read.

TOP JOCKEY

Sports Personality of the Year third Hollie Doyle is currently the winning-most jockey at Kempton Park so far this campaign, with 17 successes from 80 rides.

WATCH: HOLLIE DOYLE RECORDED A REMARKABLE FIVE VICTORIES ON THE CARD AT KEMPTON PARK ON 3RD MARCH [CREDIT: RACING TV]

That gives here a strike-rate of 21%, only bettered by Daniel Muscutt with 22% – holding a record of nine victories from a possible 41.

Olympic Conqueror and Daniel Muscutt wins the Unibet Money Back Free Bet If Second Handicap Stakes at Kempton Park, as racing resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Richard Kingscote currently sits in second with 11 wins in the plate, following by David Probert and Benoit de la Sayette with 9 and 7, respectively.

  1. Hollie Doyle (17-80)
  2. Richard Kingscote (11-77)
  3. Daniel Muscutt (9-41)
  4. David Probert (9-80)
  5. Benoit de la Sayette (7-12)
TOP TRAINER

Mark Johnston has seven victories from his 22 runners at Kempton this season, but John & Thady Gosden hold a super 43% win-rate in Sunbury-on-Thames.

John Gosden’s former stable-star Enable was a duel winner of the September Stakes at Kempton Park

Like the latter, Richard Hannon has enjoyed six successes from 26 outings, followed by Tom Ward with 5 from 17.

Trainer Andrew Balding after Kameko’s win in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse

Andrew Balding holds the same record, but with two more runners.

  1. Mark Johnston (7-22)
  2. John Gosden (6-14)
  3. Richard Hannon (6-26)
  4. Tom Ward (5-17)
  5. Andrew Balding (5-19)
TOP HORSES

Phil McEntee’s Nortonthorpe Boy is currently the most victorious runner at Kempton for the season, landing three of his four efforts here.

Trainer Phil McEntee during Sun Chariot Day at Newmarket Racecourse

But Highland Avenue, Hint Of Stars, Twilight Madness and Aria Rose are all 2-2 around the all-weather surface, holding undefeated records.

WATCH: HIGHLAND AVENUE HAS A 100% RECORD AT KEMPTON THIS SEASON AND TOOK LISTED HONOURS AT NEWMARKET RECENTLY [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The first-mentioned has since gone onto score a Listed contest at Newmarket during its Craven Meeting last week.

  1. Nortonthorpe Boy (3-4)
  2. Highland Avenue (2-2
  3. Hint Of Stars (2-2)
  4. Twilight Madness (2-2)
  5. Aria Rose (2-2)

Statistics courtesy of the Racing Post.

PREVIEW | Monday’s Jumps action at Kempton

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Seven races line-up on the evening card for Kempton on Monday, with several interesting contenders heading to the Surrey-based track.

Olly Murphy’s Ginstrelli won at 33/1 on his reappearance at Doncaster last month and is aiming to land a second victory of the year in the Vbet Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, while consistent performers Chez Hans and Tremwedge also holding entries in the opening contest.

Adrien Du Pont will be searching for his second win in the Open Hunters’ Chase for Paul Nicholls, while stablemate Favourito Buck’s could make his hunter chase debut here.

Race action at Kempton starts on 4:50pm

The Vbet Supports British Racing Novices’ Hurdle sees a quintet of previous winners go up against each other with Lord Baddesley, Confirmation Bias, Alborkan, Casa Loupi and Samarrive all winning last time out.

The progressing Armattiekan heads the Get Great Odds At Vbet Handicap Chase while the Nicky Henderson duo of Patroclus and Grand Mogul line-up in the Gamble Responsibly With Vbet “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nicky Henderson’s Captain Morgs heads the market for the 6:50pm contest

Fergal O’Brien’s Templepark and Nicholls’ Saint De Reve hold entries in the Join Vbet Handicap Chase and the likes of Switch Hitter and Champagne Mystery feature in the final contest, the Vbet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle.

WATCH: TEMPLEPARK HEADS TO KEMPTON THIS EVENING AS TRAINER FERGAL O’BRIEN BIDS FOR A CENTURY OF WINNERS THIS SEASON [CREDIT: RACING TV]

An action-packed evening for jumps fans to sink their teeth in.

King George VI Chase | Antepost Preview

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The build-up to the 2021 renewal of the King George has already begun, with Clan Des Obeaux (6/1) holding favouritism once again for the Grade 1 showpiece at Kempton.

Paul Nicholls’ talent holds a glistening record in the contest, winning his first two starts in the race in 2018 and 2019 before finishing third in last year’s running.

The nine-year-old looked incredibly sharp on his latest outing, bolting up to win the Betway Bowl at the Grand National Festival, seeing off his closest rival by 26 lengths.

Paul Nicholls has dominated the last three editions of the King George

Nicholls has suggested that the gelding could either go for the bet365 Gold Cup or be supplemented for the Punchestown Gold Cup, which will see Clan Des Obeaux’s price shortened should he win either of those contests.

Allaho (8/1) could be targeted for this contest next season after making impressive progress this term.

Willie Mullins
Could Willie Mullins sent a contender for the 2021 renewal?

The seven-year-old finally delivered on the promise he had previously shown, landing a maiden Graded success in the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at Thurles in January.

Willie Mullins’ youngster made further progress at the Cheltenham Festival as he landed the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase with ease, running clear to win by 12 lengths.

Envoi Allen (10/1) is now under the guidance of Henry De Bromhead and the National Hunt poster boy will need to put his crashing fall in the Marsh Novices’ Chase behind him.

Envoi Allen’s Cheltenham mishap was his first career defeat

Chantry House (10/1) went on to win that contest and has more to prove when stepping out of novice company next season, while stablemate Champ (20/1) will need a revive in form after being pulled up in the Gold Cup.

Last year’s winner Frodon (12/1) is likely to target this contest once again, while future prospect Monkfish (14/1) is one to watch in the upcoming season after making an unbeaten start to life over fences.

WATCH: FRODON TOOK THE 2020 KING GEORGE UNDER BRYONY FROST [CREDIT: RACING TV]

A Plus Tard (16/1) has made a prominent rise in the chasing sphere, while Protektorat (20/1) and Espoir De Romay (20/1) showed their potential at Aintree earlier in the month.

The 2021 renewal of the King George VI Chase is certainly one to look forward to.

WATCH: Frodon’s epic King George success on Boxing Day

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Frodon gave Paul Nicholls an incredible 11th win in the King George when putting in a sublime front-running display at Kempton Park for the 2020 renewal.

The 2019 Ryanair winner disappointed at Aintree on his previous start but was not for catching under Bryony Frost at Christmas, landing a major blow in the Triple Crown as stable-mate’s Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux were left in his wake.

WATCH: FRODON HOLDS HIS NERVE TO LAND THE KING GEORGE IN 2020 [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Lizzie Kelly had become the first female Grade 1 winning jockey at the course in 2016, with Frost emulating that success aboard Black Corton twelve months later.

Black Corton and Bryony Frost win the Kauto Star Novices’ Steeple Chase Race run during the Winter Festival at Kempton Park, Sunbury on Thames

The Somerset pilot then made history at the Cheltenham Festival, landing the first top-level success as a woman rider over obstacles when the aforementioned Frodon won the Ryanair.

In more recent history, Rachael Blackmore became the first female winner of the Grand National as Minella Times landed the Aintree feature last week.

Notable Flat Races at Kempton Park

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Magnolia Stakes – Listed, 1m 2f, 4yo+

The Magnolia Stakes is a Listed flat horse race in the UK open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of 1 mile 2 furlongs and it is scheduled to take place each year in late March or early April. 

2021 winner – Global Giant trained by John Gosden and ridden by Robert Havlin

Rosebery Stakes – Handicap, 1m 3f, 4yo+

The Rosebery Handicap is a flat handicap horse race in the UK open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of 1 mile 3 furlongs, and it is scheduled to take place each year in late March or early April. 

2021 winner – Al Zaraqaan trained by William Haggas and ridden by Richard Kingscote

MDFKF9 Trainer William Haggas during day three of The Bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse.
Snowdrop Fillies Stakes – Conditions 1m, 4yo+ fillies

The Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes is a Listed flat horse race in the UK open to fillies and mares aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile.

2021 winner – Lavender’s Blue – trained by Amanda Perrett and ridden by Robert Havlin

Sirenia Stakes – Group 3, 6f, 2yo only

The event is named after Sirenia, a successful filly foaled in 1895. Her victories included Kempton’s Duke of York Stakes and Great Jubilee Handicap, and she was subsequently a leading broodmare.

The Sirenia Stakes was originally contested on turf, and for a period it was classed at Listed level. It was promoted to Group 3 status in 2003 and was switched to a newly opened all-weather track in 2006.

2020 winner – Mighty Gurkha trained by Archie Watson and ridden by Adam McNamara

September Stakes – Group 3, 1m 4f, 3yo +

The September Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs.

2020 Enable – trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori

Floodlit Stakes – Listed 1m 4f, 3yo+

The Floodlit Stakes is a Listed flat horse race in the UK open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs, and it is scheduled to take place each year in November.

2020 winner – Loxley trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase: Feature National Hunt Races

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The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase is a Grade 1 staged at Kempton Park Racecourse ran over 3 miles.

It is open to horses aged four years old and over and takes place during Kempton’s Christmas Fixture on Boxing Day.

Kempton Park hosts three Grade 1’s on Boxing Day

The race was originally named as the Feltham Novices’ Chase until 2012 when the race title was changed to honour the great Kauto Star.

Kauto Star won The King George VI Chase on five occasions, trained by the legendary, 11 times Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls.

HJN9GW Trainer Paul Nicholls
Highlights
2020 winner

Shan Blue, trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton, gave his yard a second Grade 1 for the season after Allmankind’s Henry VIII win at Sandown earlier that month.

WATCH: SHAN BLUE WINS THE KAUTO STAR NOVICES’ CHASE UNDER HARRY SKELTON [CREDIT: RACING TV]
2015 winner

Tea For Two was ridden by Lizzie Kelly making her the first female jockey to win a Grade 1 in Britain.

WATCH: TEA FOR TWO MAKES LIZZIE KELLY THE FIRST GRADE 1 FEMALE PILOT IN THE KAUTO STAR NOVICES’ CHASE [CREDIT: RACING TV]
Leading jockey (3 wins):
  • Richard Dunwoody – Von Trappe (1985), Sparkling Flame (1990), Mutare (1991)
  • Mick Fitzgerald – Fiddling the Facts (1997), Bacchanal (2000), Ungaro (2006)
  • Tony McCoy – Gloria Victis (1999), Maximize (2001), Darkness (2005)
Leading trainer (5 wins):
  • Nicky Henderson – Sparkling Flame (1990), Mutare (1991), Fiddling the Facts (1997), Bacchanal (2000), Long Run (2009)
Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nicky Henderson is the all-time leading trainer in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase