HORSE RACING: Mares put Huntingdon Racecourse on top

Racing at Huntingdon.
Racing at Huntingdon.
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Huntingdon racecourse will stage the most valuable mares’ chase of the British jump racing season on Thursday (February 22).

The Listed Smarkets Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase – the highlight of the afternoon’s racing - has jumped in value to £75,000.

The track was boosted two years ago by the addition of the new steeplechase which is run over two-and-a-half miles. The aim is to enhance the programme of chases for mares to encourage owners and trainers to own mares and keep them in training.

The inaugural race even attracted a runner from Willie Mullins’ powerful stable in Ireland, but the prize-money stayed on this side of the Irish Sea with victory for Emily Gray from Kim Bailey’s yard. The 2017 renewal – run in March - was taken by Paul Nicholls’ Antartica de Thaix.

Main Enclosure admission for adults on Thursday is £10 when purchased in advance – £15 on the day. Accompanied under 18s enter free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or on 0844 579 3007.

Hospitality and restaurant packages are available at all the racecourse’s fixtures for visitors wishing to make their trip extra special. Prices start at £55 per person.

After racing, visitors can also pick up tips for the Cheltenham Festival. The Weatherbys-sponsored Festival Preview Evening takes place in front of a panel of racing experts giving their insights on the big races at the Home of Jump Racing next month. Tickets are £10 per person; the event starts at 6.15pm, an hour after the last race, and a bar is available throughout.