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.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 11th December 2020
- Winner: Mister Fisher
- SP: 9/2
- Trainer: Nicky Henderson
- Jockey: Nico de Boinville
2m4f is the trip for this Grade 2 chase contest. Traditionally the biggest event of the season at Huntington, the wonderful British weather has resulted in the event being rerouted to Cheltenham this year. Aside from the venue switch, not too much changes really from the original running of the race, which was due to take place on Sunday 6th. The prize money is a little lower but we still have a very decent field and a nice extra race to start the weekend early.
The bursting of the Alconbury brook led to Huntington being flooded so now we have a bumper card at Cheltenham to savour this Friday instead. Eight go to post in pursuit of the £37,500 in total prize money on offer, with the ground currently described as good to soft.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good to Soft||2m4f||Grade 2||£37,500||8 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Peterborough Chase Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
The now-retired Henrietta Knight boasts the all-time lead in the race, with a total of eight successes, thanks in no small part to the remarkable four wins registered by Edredon Bleu. Snapping at Henrietta’s heels on seven triumphs though is Nicky Henderson, and the Lambourn handler will have high hopes of drawing level this year as he sends the talented duo of Top Notch and Mister Fisher to post.
Jockey trends are thin on the ground, with Daryl Jacob the only rider on show to have previously scored in this race. Successful aboard Top Notch in both 2017 and 2019, he gets the leg up on the defending champion once again and clearly has a great chance of completing the hat-trick.
Outright shocks have been rare of late, with each of the past 10 winners returning an SP of 15/2 or shorter. That sequence includes five winning favourites, handing supporters of the market leader a profit of £2.94 to £1 level stakes.
|Top Notch||7/2||158||Nicky Henderson||Daryl Jacob|
|Kalashnikov||9/2||159||Amy Murphy||Jack Quinlan|
|Dolos||6/1||160||Paul Nicholls||Harry Cobden|
Top Notch – 7/2
The obvious place to start here is with the horse who has been there and got the t-shirt in this race, Nicky Henderson’s tough and talented pocket-rocket of a horse, Top Notch. Small in size, but big on heart, this Isaac Souede- and Simon Munir-owned performer has endeared himself to connections and fans with a number of excellent displays over the years. A winner of 16 of his 30 career starts, including five at Grade 2 level or above – highlighted by a 5l success in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown – he looks likely to make a bold bid at winning this race for a third time, at a third different venue.
First landing a rerouted version of this event at Taunton in 2017, he skipped the 2018 edition but proved equally as adept at Huntingdon when seeing off a field including Le Bague Au Roi, Aso and 2018 champ Charbel to register a typically game success 12 months ago.
A real credit to the yard, he tends to be raced pretty sparingly these days, but has won every season since joining Henderson and at nine years of age certainly isn’t over the hill just yet. Set this as his big target for the season, he has had his wind tweaked over the winter, which may bring about some improvement, but on previous evidence he may not need it. With his only previous effort on the Cheltenham Chase course coming when a one-length second to Yorkhill in the 2017 Grade 1 JLT Novices Chase, his form at the track is solid and the ground should also be to his liking too.
Kalashnikov – 9/2
The most interesting addition to this race since the entries were reopened following Sunday’s abandonment at Huntingdon is undoubtedly the Amy Murphy trained seven year old, Kalashnikov. The pride and joy of his trainer, this one boasted some excellent form over the smaller obstacles - a sphere in which he only once finished outside of the first two in six attempts. A winner at Grade 3 level, he twice finished runner up in Grade 1 company, including in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
His career over fences hasn’t been quite so consistent, but when at his peak he has surpassed those hurdling exploits, with his big career highlight to date coming when landing the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices Chase at Aintree last season – beating the likes of Le Bague Au Roi, Mangli Khan and Glen Forsa.
Brought back to the track following a 287-day break in the Grade 3 Betfair Exchange Stayers Handicap Hurdle at Haydock last time out, he ran a pretty big race for a long way under top weight before fading late into seventh in that 3m½f event. Also making his second start since having his wind tinkered with, this step back down in trip ought to suit, and if anywhere near his best he rates a big threat to all.
Dolos – 11/2
The one to beat on the ratings here is the sole entry from the yard of Paul Nicholls – Dolos. A mark of 160 does put him just the 1lb ahead of his nearest rival, but with no penalties to carry, he also receives 6lbs in weight from the market leader, Top Notch. Nicholls has claimed this pot just the once, back in 2004, but mentioned this as a potential target for this horse prior to the start of the season, and may well have his best chance in some time of landing a second success.
The son of Kapgarde is going to need a career best effort if he is to prevail though, with overall chase form figures of 372527 at Listed level or above hinting that he may not be quite up to this level. On the other hand, the pick of his handicapping efforts would suggest he probably is a Graded class performer, and it may simply be that it hasn’t quite happened for him on the day just yet.
It was certainly no mean feat to give 22lb and a beating to the talented First Flow on his seasonal return last year, and a repeat of that effort would put him right in contention. An eye-catcher when a staying on fourth to Rouge Vif over 2m at this track last time out, he will be making his second start since a wind op here, should certainly be fitter for that run towards the end of October, and looks set to go well for Harry Cobden.
Peterborough Chase 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.