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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 16:08 GMT
Kempton honours Desert Orchid
Desert Orchid's statue at Kempton Park
Desert Orchid's ashes were buried near his statue at Kempton Park
A tribute to racing great Desert Orchid has been unveiled at Kempton Park, the scene of some of his greatest triumphs.

The bold-jumping grey, who won the King George VI Chase a record four times at the track, died last month aged 27.

Dessie's ashes have been buried near the course's lifesize statue of the horse.

A memorial headstone was unveiled before a special race in his honour on Wednesday, the second day of the King George meeting.

Kempton officials had already planned to run the Desert Orchid Chase in his honour - a race won by odds-on favourite Voy Por Ustedes.

Away from Kempton, Dessie's most famous victory came in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he overcame unsuitable conditions for a memorable triumph.

A grandstand in one of the enclosures at Cheltenham is named after him.

A large crowd gathered at Kempton including course officials, his owner Richard Burridge and former jockeys Richard Dunwoody, Colin Brown and Simon Sherwood.

However, his trainer David Elsworth was caught in traffic and missed the ceremony

In a short ceremony before the plaque was unveiled to commemorate Dessie's achievements, Father David Lupton from St James Church, Rawtenstall gave thanks for the life of the horse and paid tribute to the special place he holds in many people's hearts.

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