Dating from 1886, Huntingdon Racecourse is an attractive East Anglian venue that hosts jumps racing throughout the year. Not one National Hunt’s elite venues, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase is the undoubted highlight on the annual calendar. This two mile four furlong affair has dominated by Henrietta Knight, the now-retired trainer winning no less than eight times around the turn of the millennium.
Great horses such as Best Mate and Edredon Bleu (four times!) landed the Peterborough Chase showing the sort of calibre of animal it attracts. The race was initially run in November on a Saturday afternoon, however in order to avoid clashes with other big race meetings the date was changed to midweek in December. This hasn’t affected attendances for what is the most popular event on the Huntingdon calendar and this meeting is still very well attended.
Huntingdon Jumps Course
Huntingdon Racecourse consists of a jumps track, oval in shape with relatively easy bends throughout and an easy finish. This is without a doubt one of the fastest courses in the UK and has a length of approximately one mile and four furlongs.
This right-handed track attracts some really good horses, including some of the classier types from the Flat. The principal reason for this is that the venue is relatively close to flat racing’s HQ at Newmarket and is also a true, fair and largely level test, with few undulations and easy bends. This is a very fast and level track with some nice fences, this tending to favour runners that are quick over obstacles.
A single circuit consists of nine fences and although some of these can be quite testing, overall it is a relatively good place for novices to begin. This course tends to favour runners with speed as opposed to stamina. Testing conditions can see the more dour stayers come to the fore but in general Huntingdon isn’t the best for big National Hunt types and runners really need to travel well in order to succeed here. In many respects, this is a similar course to Folkestone, Taunton, Ludlow and Hereford and as such, form at these venues should be replicated here.
Over the past three years, Nicky Henderson has been king of the trainers at this track, his chasers boasting five wins from 11 runners, a strike rate of over 45%. In terms of hurdlers, Dan Skelton takes pole position with 13 wins from 68 although his strike rate is second to Henderson who has 10 wins from 38, a rate of 26.32%.
Top jockeys at Huntingdon over the past three years have David Bass and Sam Twiston-Davies in chases, both with five wins from 15 rides, while in hurdles contests, Nico de Boinville tops the list with 11 wins from 39, a strike rate of 28.21%.
Major Races at Huntingdon
|Start Date||Race||Grade||Last Winner|
|6th Dec 2020||Peterborough Chase||Grade 2||Top Notch (15/8)|