BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Other Sports: Horse Racing  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
Statistics
US Sport
Horse Racing
Snooker
Sailing
Cycling
Skiing
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Monday, 16 December, 2002, 15:39 GMT
Crowning glories of great race
Richard Dunwoody and Desert Orchid
Richard Dunwoody on four-time champion Desert Orchid

Kempton Park's Christmas meeting has established itself as one of the highlights of the horse racing calendar.

Watching some of the sport's top jumping stars provides bleary-eyed National Hunt fans with the perfect hangover cure.

The main attraction of the two-day meeting, which traditionally starts on Boxing Day is the King George VI Chase.

Recent winners
2001 Florida Pearl 8-1
2000 First Gold 5-2
1999 See More Business 5-2 f
1998 Teeton Mill 7-2f
1997 See More Business 10-1
1996 One Man 8-13f
1995 One Man 11-4f
1994 Algan 16-1
1993 Barton Bank 9-2 jt f
1992 The Fellow Evens f
1991 The Fellow 9-4f

Although first run more than 60 years ago, it was transferred to Boxing Day in 1947 and several fixtures have been claimed by the wintry weather

The King George roll of honour contains some of the most famous names in the game.

It is also a race where multiple winners are commonplace.

See More Business was one of several to rack up a second triumph when winning in 1999.

No horse did more to establish the event as a national attraction than the great Arkle, who dominated the sport in the 1960s.

After triumphing by a distance in 1965, Arkle was a warm favouriute to follow up the following year.

And despite suffering a fractured pedal bone, Arkle struggled over the last two fences and was just overtaken by Dormant with the winning line in sight.

Arkle
Arkle was one of the great winners

It was only the sixth time the great horse had been beaten in a steeplechase, and he struggled to recover.

Other King George winners include favourites such as Wayward Lad, Burrough Hill Lad and One Man.

But surely none are more fondly remembered than Desert Orchid.

Kempton regulars like nothing more than a bold-jumping grey and they do not come more braver than "Dessie", as he was known.

Grey days

Desert Orchid won the race an unrivalled four times between 1986 and 1990, beating Wayward Lad's record of three wins.

Hats flew into the air as the crowd roared him home. Even those who had not backed the 9-4 favourite could appreciate the achievement.

It was jockey Richard Dunwoody's second win in the race on Desert Orchid.

He also went on to succeed for a record four times, adding dual victories aboard another grey, One Man.

There always appears to be some sort of silver lining at Kempton.

And some of those racing greats can be toasted at one of the nearest watering holes to the track.

Its name? The Grey Horse, of course.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
commentates on Desert Orchid's historic 1990 win
commentates on Desert Orchid's historic 1990 win
commentates on Arkle's great victory in 1965
commentates on Arkle's great victory in 1965
BBC Five Live
"The track has changed very little"
BBC Five Live
"It was a very exciting race"
All the latest racing news and features

Latest news

Features

The winning post

Racing section

INTERNET LINK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Horse Racing stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Horse Racing stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales