Long Run failed in its attempt to win the King George VI Chase for the third time. Has any horse managed such a hat-trick? asked James Wright
Wayward Lad, trained by Michael Dickinson, was the first horse to win the Boxing Day showpiece at Kempton three times, in 1982, 1983 and 1985 (a different lad - Burrough Hill Lad - won in 1984).
Shortly after that Desert Orchid won the King George VI Chase four times, in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990 (the run was interrupted by Nupsala in 1987). But in recent years Kauto Star, owned by Clive Smith and trained by Paul Nicholls, set what looks to be an unassailable record, by winning it five times - four years running from 2006 and then, after the first of Long Run's successes, finishing first again in 2011.
The King George VI Chase, which is about three miles long and involves jumping 18 fences, was first contested in 1937.
The other horses apart from Long Run (2009-11) to win it twice are Halloween (1952-54), Mandarin (1957-59), Pendil (1972-73), Captain Christy (1974-75), Silver Buck (1979-80), The Fellow (1991-92), One Man (1995-96), See More Business (1997-99), and Kicking King (2004-05). Rather to my surprise, I discovered that the great Arkle only won it once (in 1965).
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