The King George VI Chase is the centrepiece of the Christmas racing programme in Britain, often lighting up Kempton Park on its Boxing Day slot.
The Grade 1 three-miler has a wonderful and storied history, won by some of the true greats of National Hunt racing, and is widely regarded as the mid-season championship event for staying chasers.
Winners of the King George VI Chase are often targeted at the Cheltenham Gold Cup later in the season.
The King George VI Chase is the centrepiece of Kempton's two-day Christmas Festival and takes place on the first afternoon – Boxing Day.
This year the Kempton fixture is set for Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th December. The King George VI Chase is expected to go off at 2.30 on day one.
The King George VI Chase takes places at Kempton Park and is the biggest race in the calendar for the Sunbury-on-Thames venue. Kempton is located just 16 miles south-west of central London and is the closest racecourse to England's capital.
It also stages Grade 1s on 26th December via the Christmas Hurdle and the Kauto Star Novices' Chase, while on the 27th December the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase is the headline race.
Kempton hosts all-weather racing on their Polytrack all year round and National Hunt action through the winter and into spring.
The King George VI Chase can be watched via the bet365 live sports streaming service alongside every race from the UK and Ireland.
The two-day Kempton Christmas meeting is shown live on ITV Racing, with selected races from across both days on terrestrial television, including the King George itself. Every race from Kempton Park meanwhile is also shown live on subscription channel Racing TV.
The King George VI Chase is a Grade 1 steeplechase run over three-miles and open to horses four-years and older. There are 18 fences to be negotiated on the journey around Kempton's right-handed circuit.
The event was first run in February 1937, and it was named in honour of the new British monarch, King George VI. It is considered the biggest staying chase prize run in Britain before the New Year in each season.
Given the nature of Kempton, which is a very flat track, the King George is often viewed as a relative test of speed over the three-mile trip, much more so than the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for example.
Desert Orchid is the horse most synonymous with Kempton and this race, the grey winning in 1986 before a hat-trick of successes from 1988-1990. 'Dessie' is immortalised with a statue at Kempton.
He is, though, no longer the record holder, as the brilliant Kauto Star made the race his own with four wins from 2006 onwards for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh, before bringing down the house when winning again in 2011 aged 11 as he beat defending champion Long Run.
Mill House (1963) and Arkle (1965) were King George winners while Wayward Lad won three in the 1980s.
Other dual winners include One Man, See More Business, Kicking King, Long Run, Silviniaco Conti and Clan Des Obeaux, while few winners were more popular than Cue Card in 2015 as he flew home from the last to thwart Vautour in the final stride for Colin Tizzard and Paddy Brennan.
Paul Nicholls has established himself as the man to beat in this Christmas showpiece, with Britain's perennial champion trainer having won the King George an incredible 13 times.
The Ditcheat supremo counts See More Business (1997, 1999), Kauto Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), Silviniaco Conti (2013, 2014), Clan Des Obeaux (2018, 2019) and Frodon (2020) amongst his winners, while in 2022 he once more took out the big festive target with Bravemansgame.
Through his alliance with Nicholls and the mighty Kauto Star, Ruby Walsh became the winning-most rider in King George history. The Irishman was on board for all five of King Kauto's wins in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Walsh came close to a sixth win in 2015 as Vautour moved stylishly with a handsome lead into the home straight and looked sure to win, only for the rallying Cue Card under Paddy Brennan to get back up and deny them by a head on the line in one of the great King George finishes.