The Peterborough Chase is Huntingdon’s most important race of the jump season, celebrating it’s 50th anniversary in 2019. First run as a handicap back in 1969, this Grade 2 has been a key fixture for some of the sport’s greats with winners including Desert Orchid, Wayward Lad, Edredon Bleu and Monet’s Garden.
Henrietta Knight’s treble Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate won this race in 2002 before going on to take the King George VI Chase and Cheltenham showpiece in the same season. In 2019 the race sponsors put up £500,000 for any horse who could repeat this accomplishment.
The 2020 race took place at Cheltenham on the Friday of their International Meeting after racing at Huntingdon was abandoned.
Peterborough Chase Past Winners
|2020***||Mister Fisher||9/2||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|2019||Top Notch||15/8||Nicky Henderson||Daryl Jacob|
|2018||Charbel||13/8||Kim Bailey||Noel Fehily|
|2017**||Top Notch||4/9||Nicky Henderson||Daryl Jacob|
|2016||Josses Hill||7/4||Nicky Henderson||Noel Fehily|
|2015||Al Ferof||9/4||Dan Skelton||Harry Skelton|
|2014||Wishful Thinking||13/2||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|2013||Riverside Theatre||9/4||Nicky Henderson||Barry Geraghty|
|2012*||Menorah||7/2||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|2011||Gauvain||15/2||Nick Williams||Noel Fehily|
***2020 race was run at Cheltenham due to Huntingdon abandonment due to flooding.
**2017 race was run at Taunton due to Huntingdon abandonment due to snow.
*2012 race was run at Kempton due to a frozen track at Huntingdon.
About the Peterborough Chase: Huntingdon’s Highlight
Set in the rolling Cambridgeshire countryside, and featuring a lake in the centre of the track, Huntingdon racecourse is just one of the many picturesque racecourses that British racing has to offer, and it is a track that is well worth a visit.
For fans of high class National Hunt action, the best time to attend would undoubtedly be December, as the 12th month of the year sees the course stage its one and only Graded contest of the season. A Grade 2 chase event open to runners aged four years and older, and held over a distance of 2m4f, the Peterborough Chase is by some way the standout highlight of the season at the track.
The earliest version of this contest took place in 1969, but differed significantly from the event we know today – being run under handicap conditions over a trip of three miles. It wasn’t until the 1978 renewal of the race that the modern version of the contest was truly born, with this being the year in which the event was first held as a non-handicap affair, and was run over the reduced distance of 2m4f.
Bleu Is The Colour
There have been a number of returning heroes in this event over the years, with Racing Demon (2006, 2007), Top Notch (2017, 2019) Travado (1993, 1995) and three time King George VI winner Wayward Lad (1981, 1983) all doing the double here.
Way out in front when it comes to equine achievement in the race though is the Henrietta Knight-trained Queen Mother Champion Chase and King George VI winner, Edredon Bleu. In addition to those big Grade 1 successes, the popular bay proved just about unstoppable around here, winning an incredible four consecutive editions between 1998 and 2001.
Nicky and Knight Out In Front
Unsurprisingly it is the trainer of four-time hero Edredon Bleu who heads the trainer table in this race as of 2019. Henrietta Knight was far from a one horse wonder in the event though – racking up eight wins in total, including with the greatest horse she ever trained: the three time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Best Mate, who took this in 2002.
As impressive as that total of eight is, Henrietta Knight is retired now, and may soon find herself joined at the head of affairs. Hot on Henrietta’s heels is one the most successful trainers in the game: Nicky Henderson. Having first landed the prize with Arkle Chase and Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Remittance Man in 1992, by the time Top Notch came home in front in 2019, Henderson was winning the race for a seventh time.
Happy Hunting Ground for Favourite Backers
Another notable feature of this event is just how well the market leaders have performed. Of the 41 editions to have been held since the race took its current form in 1978, no fewer than 24 have been landed by the favourite. That’s enough for a level stakes profit of 5pts – an impressive record over what is a relatively long period of time.