HORSE RACING: Lady jockeys in the spotlight at Huntingdon

Lizzie Kelly in action.
Lizzie Kelly in action.

Visitors to Huntingdon racecourse tomorrow (March 15) get the best of both worlds - competitive racing on hone soil and televised action from the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

In Cambridgeshire, the highlight is the 188Bet Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle while on racecourse TVs from Cheltenham, it’s the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.

A strong set of entries has been made for the two-mile hurdle, with the 2015 winner Galactic Power set to try to win the prize again.

Over the years, it’s a race that has been a stepping stone for up-and-coming female riders. The 2014 winner, Lizzie Kelly, will become the first lady jockey for 33 years to ride in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday, while her weighing room colleague Lucy Alexander, the first woman to win the conditional jockeys’ title and Scotland’s first ever female professional rider, triumphed in 2013.

Liam Johnson, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “Our fixture on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival is always a very popular one, such is the focus on jump racing during the week. While the top riders like Ruby Walsh and Richard Johnson won’t be here, it’s brilliant that female jockeys can enjoy a day in the spotlight and - as the recent history books show – the lady riders who will be hitting the headlines in the future will be here at Huntingdon.”

Tomorrow is Festival Fever #GoRacing Day, when there is one set advance admission price with a 33% saving. Adult tickets are just £10 in advance (£15 on the day) – available online at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or on 0844 579 3007.

On all-racing days, accompanied children aged 17 years and under are admitted free of charge. Young adults, aged 18 to 24 years, can get half-price admission by registering at RacePass18to24.co.uk to receive a free RacePass membership card. Senior citizens can obtain discounted admission by joining The Diamond Club, with details available online.

The first race tomorrow is at 1.45pm, with gates open from 11.45am.

After tomorrow, there are further #GoRacing Days on: Monday, 3rd April; Friday evening, 28th April; Thursday, 5th October; Tuesday, 17th October; and Tuesday, 14th November.