The racing industry in Britain was dealt a surprise blow when the Jockey Club announced Tuesday that Kempton Park racecourse in southwest London would be sold and the property developed for housing.
The Guardian reports that Kempton Park, which is home to both all-weather and jumps courses, will have its racing fixtures, including the prestigious Group 1 King George VI Chase, transferred to Sandown Park.
According to the report, racing is expected to continue at Kempton until at least 2021. During that time, a new all-weather course will be built at Newmarket, and Sandown will be upgraded and renovated. Up to 3,000 houses could be developed on the Kempton Park property.
Jockey Club senior steward Roger Weatherby said it had been a tough decision to make.
“We must show leadership with the assets we have and, where merited, take tough decisions to help our sport to keep moving forward,” Weatherby said.
“It is quite a shock and it seems a great shame,” said Clive Smith, owner of five-time King George winner, Kauto Star, in an interview with the Press Association.
Read more in The Guardian
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