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King & Country: Boxing Day at Kempton
22 Dec 2016
Come the early evening on Christmas Day, many of us may find ourselves afflicted by uncommon feeling, a general malaise, a subtle dampening of the spirits. In centuries past one might have put it down to a slight imbalance of the humours. In more recent years, one might have muttered something about indigestion. We believe, however, that this feeling might stem from the unspoken, almost sacrilegious thought that perhaps ‘that’s that’ for another year. It’s tempting to resign oneself from the field under such circumstances, to retire hurt and head back to the pavilion. However, one need not give in to such temptation. One can – indeed one must – rally. Some will combat this vague restlessness by sloping off to the gun-room and making sure that all is in order for a spot shooting the next day. Others, however, might simply slip into a doze in a favourite armchair, allow the general festive cacophony to recede, and let their imaginations and memories conjure the soft, urgent drumming of hooves over frosty ground, the keen chill in the air and the sky brimming with pale winter sunshine. For when Boxing Day dawns, it’s time once again for Kempton Park and the King George VI Chase. One of the most prestigious races in the calendar and synonymous with such names as Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Kauto Star and Cue Card, the race was first run in 1937 and comprises 18 fences over three exhilarating miles. It’s as close to unmissable as it’s possible to get for equine enthusiasts. According to the website (click here), when it comes to a dress code ‘smart dress is acceptable anywhere’. At Oliver Brown, we couldn’t agree more. So be of good cheer: top up the hip flask, reach for the tweed, pop the trilby on and with a bit of luck we’ll see you there!