Kempton Park is a racecourse and entertainment centre in Sunbury-on-Thames on the south west edge of Greater London. It’s about 15 miles or so from the centre of London. The site was created as a racecourse in the late 19th century. In 2017, the Jockey Club, who currently own Kempton Park announced that it would close the site by 2021 with major races to be moved to other Jockey Club owned courses.
As mentioned above the course is very close to the centre of London and all that a major capital city has to offer. It certainly shouldn’t be difficult to find nice places to stay and the eat.
Kempton Park racecourse hosts both all-weather flat racing and NH racing.
The surface currently used is for flat racing is Polytrack. NH racing is run on the turf track.
The flat racing track is a right-handed, flat and oval-shaped course which in fact has two loops. Races over 5f and 1m2f races use inner course which then has a finishing straight of 2f. This favours the speedy type who can lie handy, especially over 5f. Races over 6f, 7f, 1m, 1m3f, 1m4f and 2m races are run on the outer course on which the bends are nothing like as sharp and there is a finishing straight of 3f.
There is a considerable advantage in being drawn low in 5f races given the tight bends and short straight. It’s very difficult to peg back a low drawn horse who breaks well and makes the running, providing it runs at the right pace. There is a similar bias towards a low draw in 6f races run on the outer track. There is less of a bias in races over 7f and 8f except in large fields when it can be more pronounced.
The jumps course is a triangular circuit of about 1m5f around, very flat, with 220yd run-in from the last. The fences are not as difficult as at many other courses.
Clerk of the course: Brian Clifford
Course telephone number: 01932 782292
Kempton Park is about 16 miles from Central London, 125 miles from Birmingham, 115 miles from Bristol, 150 miles from Cardiff, 208 miles from Manchester and 407 miles from Edinburgh.
The course itself is situated on the A308 Kingston Road, the closest motorway junction being J1 of the M3.
The course post code is TW16 5AQ.
Course parking is free of charge on all race days.
The nearest railway station is Kempton Park Station (from London Waterloo) which is adjoining the course.
There is no strict dress code at Kempton Park though the course management do encourage smart dress.
There are a number of enclosures at Kempton Park but for the purposes of AWT racing, there is only one and to be fair that’s all that is needed. The viewing here is really good as the course is very flat. I would guess that’s particularly true from the Panoramic Restaurant.
There weren’t too many here tonight and the bars and food facilities were very good indeed. Underneath the grandstand there is a hall which incorporates an on course betting shop, a nice long bar, a hot food counter (The Food Court) and a Costa Coffee shop. There’s quite a few tables and chairs which can be used too. Behind the grandstand is the parade ring area and winners enclosure. It’s all done out nicely.
I have been to Kempton far more often than I have been to any other racecourse and I really like it here. I have seen many superb horses here, particularly over the jumps around Christmas. There is so much racing history attached to Kempton Park and the thought that it will soon close for no reason other that to redevelop the land into housing is just appalling or at least it is to me.
I didn’t come to Kempton tonight expecting to make my fortune and it’s as well I took that view!
I managed two bets tonight, one winner and one loser. Thankfully, the winner carried considerably more of my money. The fourth race was a Novice Stakes for 3yo+ fillies and included The Hughie Morrison trained Quicksand, ridden by Richard Kingscote. She had only the one race thus far back in April finishing 6 1/2 lengths behind impressive winner Lah Ti Dar without ever getting in a blow at the winner. It seems that on Saturday, Lah Ti Dar will line up as favourite for the St Leger having again won so impressively at York’s Ebor meeting. The main market rival was Wohileh who came here match fit having run well at Windsor about five weeks ago. As it was, it was the two who fought out the finish in the final two furlongs with Quicksand asserting in the last 50 yards to win by 1/2 a length.
The next race was a 0-80 handicap for 3y0 over 2m. The favourite was Twister trained by Sir Mark Prescott and ridden by Luke Morris. He had won his last race, also over 2m on the AW at Lingfield quite comfortable and didn’t seem too harshly penalised. The remainder of the field also seemed to have some chance though all had bits and pieces of form involving other Sir Mark Prescott inmates and guessing as I did that Sir Mark probably knew where he stood with all of them, Twister was the bet. I expected him to go off favourite (and win!) but in the end the Market made the Amanda Perrett trained (and improving) Astromachia the favourite and were right to do as he won comfortably.
That was enough for me. It’s getting far too chilly now to be wandering around racecourses in shirt sleeves, certainly at night anyway, so back to the hotel.
I was originally going to Epsom tomorrow but it has been abandoned due to an infestation of Chafer Grubs. So it’s going to be Sandown Park on Friday for my next instalment…!