HORSE-RACING: Rare runner for the Queen at Huntingdon

The Queen could have a runner at Huntingdon on Friday.
The Queen could have a runner at Huntingdon on Friday.
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The Queen is set to have a rare runner at Huntingdon Racecourse on Friday (January 29).

Trainer Nicky Henderson says her steeplechaser Special Agent, who won at Ascot Racecourse last year, is a likely contender in the Alconbury Handicap Chase at 2.10pm.

The seven-year-old would be only the second jumps runner for The Queen since the 2015/16 jump racing season started last spring.

Her Majesty is, of course, more famous for her runners on the Flat – and so rarely are her horses seen at the Cambridgeshire jump racing track. She hasn’t had a runner at the racecourse for over five years, but will doubtless take a keen interest in the fortunes of Special Agent who she bred herself.

Henderson said today that, among a number of entries for Friday’s races at Huntingdon Racecourse, he expects to have at least two runners, including Buveur D’Air who would be bidding to maintain his 100 per cent record this season in the Racing UK Novices’ Hurdle at 1.35pm.

“The Queen’s horse Special Agent and Buveur D’Air in the novices’ hurdle would be my most likely runners on Friday,” he said.

The Lambourn trainer also has Call The Cops engaged in the feature race of the afternoon, the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, an £18,500 prize-money qualifier for the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival, a race that the horse won in March 2015. However, the going is likely to be too soft for him on Friday, said the trainer.

Sian Williams, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “The Queen is one of horse-racing’s greatest supporters and it would be marvellous for our spectators to see one of her horses running here on Friday.”

Racing starts at 1pm on Friday. All accompanied children go free, while tickets for adults are £13.50 in advance for the Main Enclosure at or on 0844 579 3007.