Top Racehorse Owner Backs Chiswick Councillor's Call To Retain 'Feltham Chase'
Paul Lynch wants to ensure historical race is not lost if Kempton Park closes
Chiswick Councillor Paul Lynch has called on the Jockey Club to retain the Feltham Chase in the event of the closure of Kempton Park.
He is being backed by Chiswick resident Caroline Tisdall, owner of Vieux Lion Rouge, currently favourite in the Grand National betting, who said, “This is an important race both historically and for developing young horses. We must guard our heritage.”
Kempton Park is famous for hosting the longstanding “King George VI” chase on Boxing Day but the valuable site is shortly to be turned into residential and the famous race is to be transferred to Sandown.
Cllr Lynch, who has put forward a motion to be discussed at the next meeting of Hounslow Council March 28th) said “If Kempton does close it would be so sad, especially for us in Hounslow. The famous “Feltham chase,” run on Boxing Day, (known as the Kauto Star chase since 2012) is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase open to horses aged four years or older. We in the London Borough of Hounslow would be very sad to see our own Feltham Stakes disappear." The Feltham is the first Grade 1 race to be won by a woman, Lizzie Kelly on Tea for Two in 2015.
“If racing should cease on this wonderful piece of history, then please, to perpetuate the memory of Feltham, Kauto Star, and Lizzie Kelly’s win, run the race elsewhere under similar conditions”, said Councillor Lynch. For a level, right hand, well-drained NH course, it would probably have to be Huntingdon.
Councillor Lynch has secured cross-party interest to retain the Feltham chase at this month’s Borough Council; he has asked Feltham and Heston Labour MP, Seema Malhotra to submit an Early Day Motion in the Commons; and has written to the Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, Councillor Ian Harvey, thanking him for his stand on Kempton, and for protecting the Green Belt around Hounslow.
Closing Kempton Park (London's premier racecourse, a multi-million pound redevelopment programme was completed in 2006,) could see 3,000 new homes being built on the Green Belt and the transfer of the King George VI race (first run in 1937) to nearby Sandown.