Kempton boosts Desert race
Kempton Park has announced the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase on December 27 has had its prize money increased to £80,000.
The Grade Two contest was due to be run for £60,000 and the move could be seen as an attempt to lure more connections to take on the brilliant Sprinter Sacre, who is on target for the race according to trainer Nicky Henderson.
Barney Clifford, London regional head of racing for Jockey Club Racecourses and clerk of the course at Kempton Park, said: "I'm delighted we've been able to increase the prize money on offer for the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase to £80,000 and look forward to a high-quality renewal.
"With Sprinter Sacre on target we're hopeful the economics of the raceday will receive a boost. In the best interests of British racing we have decided to inject a further £20,000 into the race before entries close tomorrow."
A day earlier Kauto Star will strut his stuff at Kempton once more. He will be parading in the paddock before racing begins and will lead the runners out for the William Hill King George, which he won five times.
A statue of Kauto Star has also been commissioned by his owner, Clive Smith, and will be unveiled at next year's meeting. The statue will be produced by equine sculptor and painter Charlie Langton.
"During a period of 25 years I have owned some nice horses such as Royal Auclair, Hawthorn Blaze and others, but none could surpass ownership of Master Minded (now in retirement) and Kauto Star," said Smith.
"Owning Kauto Star has been the thrill of a lifetime and to be able to present a statue of him to Kempton Park, to celebrate his great wins is truly heart-warming for me.
"Being remembered in this way is nothing less than he deserves. My very talented, beautiful horse with a lovely quiet temperament and a tremendous will to win; the horse of a lifetime."