Guest Post by Gemma Collier
It’s been a year full of excitement in the Royal household in the UK this year with the arrival of Kate and William’s baby Prince George of Cambridge, the future King of England. After his birth on 22 July, the little prince was not seen in public since the day he left the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital where he was born until his Christening day on 23 October. Although he’s been kept very much under wraps during his first few months, he’s a very talked about baby!
Doubtless the new parents will be as excited as every other couple who have a baby’s first Christmas to look forward to and George is likely to get more than a present or too. And on Boxing Day, there’s a prestigious horse race which was named in honour of baby George’s great great grandfather King George VI – the Queen’s father.
It’s a little too early for baby George to be interested in horse racing, but if he takes after his father’s side of the family, it’s definitely in the blood. Certainly his great grandmother, the Queen, has always been a devoted racing fan, and it would be fitting if George grew up to enjoy watching the race that shares his name.
The first King George VI chase was run in 1937 at Kempton and is the most prestigious race outside the Cheltenham festival that takes place every March. The King George VI chase is a grade one chase that covers three miles and 18 fences.
If you’re interested in betting on the race, check out the odds on Betfair. Past winners have included the now retired Kauto Star – the only horse to have lost and then regained the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup. The winner last year was Long Run, who won the 2010 race, but lost to Kauto Star in 2011, and then came back to win the race again in 2012 following Kauto Star’s retirement.
Not every new baby has a horse race that was named for their great great grandfather, but some of his extended family might lose just a bit of interest in little baby George’s first Christmas when the King George VI chase is on!