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Christmas Hurdle

Grade 1 race
Christmas Hurdle
Location Kempton Park,
Sunbury, England
Race type Hurdle race
Sponsor William Hill
Website Kempton Park
Race information
Distance 2 miles (3,219 metres)
Track Turf, right-handed
Qualification Four-years-old and up
Weight 11 st 7 lb
7 lb for fillies and mares
Purse £100,000 (2009)
1st: £57,010

The Christmas Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Kempton Park over a distance of about 2 miles (3,219 metres), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the King George VI Chase meeting on Boxing Day.



During the 1960s Kempton staged a 2-mile handicap race on Boxing Day called the Kempton Park Handicap Hurdle. Its winners included Salmon Spray and Saucy Kit – both subsequent winners of the Champion Hurdle. The race was abandoned in 1967 and 1968, and it returned in the guise of the Christmas Hurdle in 1969.

Three winners of the race in its present format have gone on to victory in the Champion Hurdle. The first was Lanzarote, the winner of the latter event in 1974, and the others are Dawn Run (1983–84) and Kribensis (1989–90).

The race has served as the second leg of the WBX Hurdling Triple Crown since 2006. This is a bonus scheme which offers a prize of £1,000,000 to any horse which wins the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, the Christmas Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle in the same season. [1]


Most successful horse since 1969 (2 wins):

  • Coral Diver – 1969, 1971
  • Lanzarote – 1973, 1975
  • Intersky Falcon – 2002, 2003

Leading jockey since 1969 (3 wins):

  • Andrew Turnell – Tree Tangle (1974), Beacon Light (1977), Bird's Nest (1979)

Leading trainer since 1969 (4 wins):

  • Noel Meade – Harchibald (2004, 2008), Jazz Messenger (2006), Go Native (2009)

Winners since 1969






1969 Coral Diver 4 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell
1970 no race 1970 [1]
1971 Coral Diver 6 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell
1972 Canasta Lad 6 Jeff King Peter Bailey
1973 Lanzarote 5 Richard Pitman Fred Winter
1974 Tree Tangle 5 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1975 Lanzarote 7 John Francome Fred Winter
1976 Dramatist 5 Bill Smith Fulke Walwyn
1977 Beacon Light 6 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1978 Kybo 5 Bob Champion Josh Gifford
1979 Bird's Nest [2] 9 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1980 Celtic Ryde 5 John Francome Peter Cundell
1981 no race 1981 [3]
1982 Ekbalco 6 Jonjo O'Neill Roger Fisher
1983 Dawn Run 5 Jonjo O'Neill Paddy Mullins
1984 Browne's Gazette 6 Dermot Browne Monica Dickinson
1985 Aonoch 6 Jimmy Duggan Sally Oliver
1986 Nohalmdun 5 Peter Scudamore Peter Easterby
1987 Osric 5 Graham McCourt Mick Ryan
1988 Kribensis 4 Richard Dunwoody Michael Stoute
1989 Kribensis 5 Richard Dunwoody Michael Stoute
1990 Fidway 5 Steve Smith Eccles Tim Thomson Jones
1991 Gran Alba 5 Graham McCourt Richard Hannon
1992 Mighty Mogul 5 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson
1993 Muse 6 Mark Richards David Elsworth
1994 Absalom's Lady 6 Paul Holley David Elsworth
1995 no race 1995–96 [4]
1997 Kerawi 4 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies
1998 French Holly 7 Andrew Thornton Ferdy Murphy
1999 Dato Star 8 Lorcan Wyer Malcolm Jefferson
2000 Geos 5 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson
2001 Landing Light 6 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson
2002 Intersky Falcon 5 Charlie Swan Jonjo O'Neill
2003 Intersky Falcon 6 Liam Cooper Jonjo O'Neill
2004 Harchibald 5 Paul Carberry Noel Meade
2005 Feathard Lady [5] 5 Ruby Walsh Colm Murphy
2006 Jazz Messenger 6 Niall Madden Noel Meade
2007 Straw Bear 6 Tony McCoy Nick Gifford
2008 Harchibald 9 Paul Carberry Noel Meade
2009 Go Native 6 Davy Condon Noel Meade

1 The 1970 running was abandoned because of snow.
2 Celtic Ryde finished first in 1979, but he was relegated to second place after a stewards' inquiry.
3 The race was abandoned in 1981 because of frost.
4 It was cancelled in 1995 due to snow and frost, and in 1996 due to frost.
5 The race was switched to Sandown Park in 2005 as Kempton was closed for redevelopment.


  • Ladbrokes Pocket Companion 1990/91. Aesculus Press. 1990. p. 47. ISBN 1-871093-21-X. 

See also


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