King George VI Legends
The King George Chase is renowned for the quality of its winners and over the years it has had many great champions. The latest Champion to be installed on the Roll of Honour is Kauto Star, who has won the last two renewals and is favourite in the King George Chase Latest Odds to win for a third successive time. If he manages it he will be only the second horse to have done so, the first being the incomparable Desert Orchid who is one of three legends we feature on this page. See also King George Chase History.
Trained by King George top trainer, David Elsworth, Desert Orchid became the nations favourite horse winning this great race four times, in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990, he also was second to Nupsala in the 1987 race. ‘Dessie’ as he became commonly known won an amazing amount of top chases that included his finest triumph, the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1989, the Whitbread Gold cup in 1988 as well as the Irish Grand National in 1990. He was voted second best Chaser in history behind the great Arkle.
Winner of the King George Chase on three occasions in 1982, 1983 and 1985. When he retired in 1987 Wayward Lad had won an incredible 28 times from 55 races and at the time was the highest earning National Hunt horse with the exception of the great Dawn Run. Amazingly he never won a race at the Cheltenham Festival but did win the Martell Trophy twice at Aintree in 1985 and 1987.
Winner of the King George Chase in 1991 and 1992, The Fellow became only second French trained winner to win this race, the first being Nupsala, who had won in 1987 at the expense of Desert Orchid. The Fellow was a truly great steeplechaser, who had won France’s premier jumps race, Le Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris also in 1991. He had finished runner up twice in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, losing both times by a short head, however he finally won it in 1994. The Fellow was trained by King George top trainer, Francois Doumen.