British racecourse that hosts King George VI Chase may close

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LONDON (AP) The racecourse that stages one of Britain's premier jumps races could be closed as part of a plan to invest 500 million pounds ($610 million) into the sport over the next decade.

The Jockey Club said Tuesday it has submitted the estate at Kempton Park, the course in southwest London where the King George VI Chase is run every year on Dec. 26, for consideration following a call for more housing in the area.

If the plan is approved, Kempton will be closed no earlier than 2021. It would mean a new all-weather venue being built - potentially at Newmarket, the home of British horse racing - while the Jockey Club would request that the King George be staged at nearby Sandown, which has previously held the race.

The Jockey Club said Kempton Park will be redeveloped only if the move generates in excess of 100 million pounds of investment, which will be contribute to the planned 500 million pounds being invested in the sport in Britain.

Roger Weatherby, senior steward of the Jockey Club, said in a statement that the proposals are for the ''long-term good of British racing.''