Star steeplechaser to be honoured at Huntingdon
This year's Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon Racecourse will be run in honour of Edredon Bleu, a four-times winner of the local track's big feature race who died in September at the age of 26.
The star steeplechaser, trained by Henrietta Knight, triumphed in the two-and-a-half mile steeplechase in consecutive years between 1998 and 2001.
This year’s renewal, scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 9, will be called the ABF Edredon Bleu Chase (registered as the Peterborough Chase).
The new sponsor for the contest, which has been won by some of the most famous middle-distance steeplechasers over the last few decades, is ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the official charity of the racecourse during 2018.
Owned by Jim Lewis, Edredon Bleu also won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park, retiring at the age of 13 in 2005.
Jim Culloty partnered the horse to his first three triumphs in the Peterborough Chase, while Norman Williamson was in the saddle for his final appearance at the Cambridgeshire racecourse a year later. Ironically, his only other race at Huntingdon was over hurdles on only his second race in Britain, before he embarked on his steeplechasing career, and he finished last of eight!
Liam Johnson, general manager at Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “Edredon Bleu was a stalwart at Huntingdon Racecourse over a number of years and his performances in the Peterborough Chase will live long in the memory of those who were here to witness them in person or were watching them on Channel 4 Racing.
“As a mark of the respect and affection in which he was held by everyone, the racecourse and the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity are pleased to name our feature race this year in his memory.”
Henrietta Knight said: “Edredon Bleu was a total star and he loved his races at Huntingdon. The racecourse ideally suited his quick jumping style and I feel honoured to have trained such a fantastic little horse.”
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is the national charity of the British Army and is a partner for Peterborough Chase Day. 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.