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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 15:23 GMT
Top tracks: Kempton
Gunther McBride leads the way in a hurdle race at Kempton
Jumping at Kempton is under threat
Kempton opened in 1878 and has been at the forefront of the British racing scene ever since.

It hosts Flat meetings but it is for jumping that it is famous, in particular the King George VI Chase, one of the most important races of the season.

Kempton's big races
King George VI Chase (3m) Dec
Christmas Hurdle
(2m) Dec
Lanzarote Hurdle
(2m) Jan
Racing Post Trophy (3m) Feb

However, there is much uncertainty over the future of the race at Kempton, with the owners currently considering ditching the jumping in favour of an all-weather circuit.

Kempton is a right-handed track, which is 1m 5f round - although the course shape is more of a triangle.

Kempton is a flat track which requires horses who can jump well - and quickly.

This is what makes the King George such a good and interesting mid-season championship test because it contrasts to the stamina required to win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The emphasis on speed at Kempton stretches to the run-in, which is quite short.


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