Kempton Park in Surrey is one of the top dual-purpose racecourses in the country.
While remaining famous for its huge Boxing Day fixture over the jumps, it is a very busy flat track too owing to the Polytrack all-weather surface which keeps the fixtures coming.
Although not known for huge Saturday jumps handicaps or heritage handicaps on the flat, field sizes can be good here and the races competitive so it still pays to try to get an advantage before betting in such races.
Kempton Track Details
In terms of the flat track, Kempton is now all-weather of course and has been since 2006, Ploytrack being the surface of choice here.
The track is right-handed and flat with two circuits. The inner course is used for race over 5 furlongs, 1m1f and 1m2f and is naturally the sharper of the two with a run-in of under two furlongs. The outer circuit is naturally a little more sweeping.
The biggest piece of advice we can give from a handicapping perspective is not to take the ‘standard’ going description too literally. We are long overdue a change in that respect. How the track is prepared by the grounds staff and whether it has rained, which can actually make it quicker, is important.
A low draw can be an advantage and a front-running type over the minimum distance can have an advantage, yet being patient over other distances plays well.
Naturally the jumps track is right-handed too, rated as fair by most with easy enough fences. Patience is key despite the layout here over obstacles, so don’t be put off by a horse who excels when hold-up tactics are employed.
In fact, if you check recent Lanzarote Hurdle results you will usually find that the ultimate winner has only hit the front at around near the final flight of hurdles which is a prime example of how races are won and lost here.
Top Personalities at Kempton
Preparing horses for and riding them at Kempton can be an art. The best-performing trainers in recent times there have been:
- John Gosden*
- Archie Watson*
- Roger Varian*
- Mark Johnston*
- Paul Nicholls
- Emma Lavelle
- Nicky Henderson
- Chris Gordon
- Harry Fry
And the top Kempton jockeys are:
- James Doyle*
- Andrea Atzeni*
- Jim Crowley*
- Oisin Murphy*
- Harry Cobden
- Sam Twiston-Davies
- Nico De Boinville
- Sean Bowen
- Barry Geraghty
- Wayne Hutchinson
* Flat racing, others are National Hunt
Major Handicaps at Kempton Park
Across both codes, Kempton remains about major weight-for-age races. Over the jumps the famous Boxing Day fixture features the King George Chase, the Kauto Star Novices’ and the Christmas Hurdle which are all Grade One’s.
On the flat, the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes and September Stakes are the most important. These handicaps however still attract a lot of betting attention:
|Rosebery Stakes||Easter Meeting||Class 2||1 mile, 3 furlongs|
|Lanzarote Hurdle||Lanzarote Day, January||Listed Race||2 miles, 5 furlongs|
|BetBright Chase||BetBright Chase Meeting, February||Grade 3||3 miles|