HORSE RACING: Irish add spice to Betfred Peterborough Chase day

Horse racing at Huntingdon.
Horse racing at Huntingdon.
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The major race of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse, the Betfred Peterborough Chase, is an all-British contest, but Ireland’s top trainer is adding extra interest to Sunday’s (December 6) jump racing.

Five horses will contest the £65,000 Betfred Peterborough Chase, including last year’s winner Wishfull Thinking, who will once again have the assistance of the country’s leading jockey, Richard Johnson, in the saddle.

Among those hoping to seize the crown is Al Ferof, running in the colours of the famous grey One Man, who won the race 18 years ago, and Ptit Zig from the stables of champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

All-conquering Willie Mullins is sending his first ever runners to the Cambridgeshire track, as he seeks opportunities for his horses well away from his County Carlow base.

He runs Screaming Rose and Snag List in the Listed Betfred Mobile Henrietta Knight Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race. The former is undefeated in two ‘bumpers’ in Ireland, while the latter was fourth in the bumper at Cheltenham Racecourse’s Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting last month.

Mullins said: “I visited Huntingdon Racecourse with a friend about 30 years ago just to see the races, but I’ve not had runners there before. I have been seeking more opportunities to run in Britain.”

Sian Williams, general manager of Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “Betfred Peterborough Chase day is our most high profile and prestigious fixture of the year and we are thrilled that Ireland’s leading trainer Willie Mullins is sending horses to run here. It will add extra interest to what is set to be an exciting occasion.”

Sunday offers families a great racing day out before the Christmas holidays, including a parade of hounds. Adult admission is £18 in advance (£20 on the day), while accompanied under 18s get in free of charge. Tickets: 0844 579 3007 or at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk

Racing is between 12.15pm and 3.35pm, with gates open from 10.15am.