HORSE RACING: Excellent entries for Huntingdon's race of the year

Sire De Grugy, the 2014 Cheltenham Festival Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, should be running at Huntingdon on Sunday.Sire De Grugy, the 2014 Cheltenham Festival Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, should be running at Huntingdon on Sunday.
Sire De Grugy, the 2014 Cheltenham Festival Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, should be running at Huntingdon on Sunday.
A classy renewal of the highest quality horse race of 2017 at Huntingdon Racecourse on Sunday (December 10) is in prospect.

Thirteen entries have been made for the Betfred Peterborough Chase which, with £65,000 in prize-money, is the richest contest on the calendar at the Cambridgeshire track.

They include last year’s winner, Josses Hill, one of two entries from the yard of champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson, and the 2014 Cheltenham Festival Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy.

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The latter is trained by Gary Moore who has also entered Ar Mad and Traffic Fluide.

Ten-times champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls has put two horses into the two-and-a-half mile contest. They are Ptit Zig, who ran in the race two years ago, and San Benedeto, who ran up a sequence of four victories earlier this year.

Long House Hall, winner of the Betfred Summer Plate at Huntingdon’s sister Jockey Club Racecourses track at Market Rasen, is entered by Dan Skelton.

There is even a potential Irish raider in Ballyoisin, who is trained by Enda Bolger in County Limerick.

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Cloudy Dream could come down from the Yorkshire stables of Malcolm Jefferson for the race, while Top Notch is a second possible runner for Nicky Henderson.

The potential line-up is completed by Charbel, trained by Kim Bailey, God’s Own from the yard of Tom George and Kylemore Lough of Harry Fry.

Sunday afternoon’s racing also includes an intriguing Listed Betfred TV Henrietta Knight Mares’ Standard National Hunt Flat Race.

The occasion not only offers families a great racing day out before the Christmas holidays but also the top jockeys in Britain will be riding at the racecourse. Liam Johnson, General Manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “Betfred Peterborough Chase day is our most high profile and prestigious fixture of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse and the early indications are that we are going to have a cracking field of runners for the big race. There are plenty of talking points among the entries and we wait with anticipation to find out which horses will run on Sunday.

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“We’re also proud that our official charity partner on the day is ABF The Soldier’s Charity – The National Charity of British Army.”

The racing isn’t the only entertainment on Sunday by any means. Families can explore the military village, visit Santa in his grotto and listen to music from The Band of the Queen’s Division. There is a variety of free fun laid on for children including a selection of bouncy castles, slides, large games and a bungee run.

The military village showcases many aspects of the British Army, giving visitors the opportunity to speak with serving soldiers and see stands from units such as the Parachute Regiment and Army Air Corps.

ABF The Soldier’s Charity gives a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the British Army, and their immediate families, when they are in need. They make grants to individuals through their Regiments and Corps and support a wide range of specialist charities that sustain the British Army ‘family’, both at home and around the world.

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Advance purchase of adult tickets for the Main Enclosure is £18. Accompanied under 18s are admitted free of charge.

A Christmas Family package, available only in advance, offers two adult tickets, up to four children’s entries, two sweet bag vouchers and a racecard voucher – all for £33.

Tickets can be purchased at or on 0844 579 3007. Young adults aged 18 to 24 years can also get half price entry by registering with The Jockey Club’s

The gates of the racecourse will be open from 10.15am for a first race time of 12.15pm. The finale is at 3.30pm.

Betfred Peterborough Chase fact file

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First run – 2nd December 1969; run under today’s conditions since 1978;

Most successful horse – Edredon Bleu with four wins;

Most successful trainer – Henrietta Knight with eight wins;

Most successful jockeys – Richard Dunwoody and Jim Culloty with four wins each;

Abandoned – just once, due to fog in 1982 (2010 and 2012 races were transferred to Newbury and Kempton Park);

Days of the week – run on Tuesday (from 1969), Saturday (from 1998), Thursday (from 2008) and Sunday (from 2014).