Horse jumping a fence at Huntingdon

09th December 2013

A winter warmer: The Betfred Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon

It is the Betfred Peterborough Chase tomorrow at Huntingdon and from the look of the declarations for the race, it should be a great renewal. I was happy with the entries but to have seven horses of such quality running is great for all of the team here at Huntingdon.

Of course this does leave me with one problem. It is very difficult to pick out a few runners to look out for, given that all of the runners have a chance. The sponsors Betfred have Riverside Theatre as the favourite at the moment but actually there is such strength in the field that it should be a really competitive race.

Speaking of Riverside Theatre, Jimmy Nesbitt should be here to see his pride and joy run. Ratings-wise there is not a lot to choose between Captain Chris, Champion Court and Conquisto. Module is not quite at their level yet, but he is a very progressive horse so there is no reason that he can’t continue improving.

Looking down the card racegoers will also be able to see Nicky Henderson’s smart mare Une Artiste in the Betfred TV EBF Stallions/TBA Mares’ Novices’ Chase. While the field is small -  not unusual for a mares' race - the runners are high quality.

The course is looking great. We are Good, Good to Soft in places at the moment and we have had a pretty foggy and overcast day today so I am not expecting the course to dry out any more. We have all fresh ground all the way round the chase course, ground we have been saving since October especially for tomorrow’s meeting so it should be perfect.

The groundstaff are such a huge part of what we do here and so I have to mention the team here at Huntingdon who were nominated for the IOG Professional Sports Ground Team of the Year. We were up against the team from Wembley, Leeds Rhinos, The Hurlingham Club and Liberty Stadium, Swansea. While we lost out to Wembley, it was great to be recognised outside our sport and an honour to represent racing against other sports.

Special mention to Head Groundsman Shaun Reilly, who made it to the final two in the John Deere Professional Horse Racing Groundsman of the Year, a category which he won in 2012.