Major trainers take aim at Huntingdon’s big race

Defending champion Top Notch. Picture: Jeannie Knight
Defending champion Top Notch. Picture: Jeannie Knight
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Britain’s top racehorse trainers are getting ready to target the showpiece race of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse.

This year, the contest usually known as the Peterborough Chase is being run on Sunday, December 9, in honour of Edredon Bleu, the winner of the race four times who died in September at the age of 26.

Trainer Nicky Henderson.

Trainer Nicky Henderson.

Champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson has no fewer than three of his horses in mind for the two-and-a-half mile steeplechase.

He says the defending champion Top Notch, the 2016 winner Josses Hill, as well as Brain Power, are under consideration.

Henderson is aiming for a seventh victory in the race which would see him bearing down on former handler Henrietta Knight’s record haul of eight wins.

A potential opponent on Sunday week is Frodon from the Somerset stables of ten-time champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls.

The horse is having a fantastic autumn already, having won the Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase at Aintree – a race named after the hero of the Peterborough Chase ten years ago – and been runner-up in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

The horse that defeated him at Cheltenham – Baron Alco – is also a possible runner at Huntingdon, according to his trainer Gary Moore who may also consider the race for Benatar.

Another trainer eyeing the ABF The Soldier’s Charity Edredon Bleu Chase (registered as the Peterborough Chase) is Tom George who says God’s Own, winner of the bwin Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter earlier this month, will be entered in both the Huntingdon race as well as Sandown Park’s Betfair Tingle Creek Chase which is run the day before.

Liam Johnson, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “The ABF The Soldier’s Charity Edredon Bleu Chase is already gearing up to be a high class and exciting contest and we are looking forward with anticipation to the announcement of the entries on Monday. Some of the best steeplechasers have competed in the race over the decades and the 2018 renewal looks set to be an equally classy affair.”

The day features not only exciting racing but also an array of family entertainment, including a visit by Father Christmas, children’s activities, rock climbing, paint balling, a military brass band performance and a dedicated army military village.

Adult tickets for December 9 are £18 in advance (£22 on the day), with accompanied children going free as usual. There is also a value-for-money Christmas Family package available for £33. Further information is available online at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk where tickets can be purchased or on 0844 579 3007.

The new sponsor of the feature race, which has been won by some of the most famous middle-distance steeplechasers, is The ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the official charity of the racecourse during 2018.

The ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the national charity of the British Army. It gives a lifetime of support to soldiers and veterans from the 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.

Huntingdon Racecourse, part of The Jockey Club, was voted ‘Best Small Racecourse’ in the Midlands by the Racegoers Club in 2012, 2014 and 2017. More information is available at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk.