Following the announcement that Ladbrokes is the new sponsor of Kempton Park’s flagship meeting, The King George VI Christmas Festival, the firm’s Jump ambassadors Dan Skelton and Paul Townend have expressed what the meeting means to them.
Talking about his desire to win the race, Dan Skelton said: “The Ladbrokes King George VI is the highlight of Christmas for the racing industry and I would love to win the race. I was there when Kauto Star won all five of his races for Paul Nicholls and it really capped off Christmas.
After the Gold Cup, it is the one staying Grade 1 chase that everyone wants to win. It is great to have Ladbrokes associated with it. Their long-term sponsorship of racing speaks for itself and I am delighted to be involved with the firm.”
Willie Mullins’ new number one jockey, Paul Townend, echoed similar sentiments: “It is a race every kid grows up watching on St Stephen’s Day. It is the centre piece of a very busy Christmas period and although I am yet to have a ride in it, I am hopeful that will change this year. It is a race every jockey would love to have on their CV.”
The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase is one of the highest esteemed Steeplechases in the British racing calendar and will forever be linked to great chasers including Arkle, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star. Paul Nicholls has an exceptional record in the two day meeting’s feature race, training 10 winners in the past 22 years.
Taking place annually on 26th and 27th December, the two day meeting has become an iconic part of Christmas celebrations for many racing fans, offering a truly festive atmosphere throughout the course.