|Huntingdon Racecourse History
The earliest record of racing in the vicinity of Huntingdon was in 1602 at Sapley, while in 1773 Flat race meetings were staged at Port Holme. Indeed, race meetings which also included Galloway pony races, were held in the early part of the 18th century as evidenced by the Stamford Mercury extract shown below. Racing continued in this area until meetings transferred to nearby Water Meadows, the site of the present course, in 1886. The inaugural steeplechase meeting at the Brampton course took place on Easter Monday in 1886, opening with a three mile chase which was won by Catherine the Great. In 1920 the Huntingdon Steeplechase Group was formed, with Huntingdon racecourse managed successfully by Bob Lenton for 25 years, after which Hugo Bevan took over from 1974. The principal race is the Peterborough Chase (full results shown below), a Grade 2 National Hunt Chase over 2 miles 4 1/2 furlongs and 16 fences. It was introduced on Tuesday 2nd December 1969, but at that time, and until the 1977 running, it was over 3 miles. Currently the course hosts 17 fixtures annually.
The newspaper extract shown below advertises the meeting held on Tuesday 31st August 1725 and is shown courtesy of the British Newspaper Online.
|Huntingdon continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Cambridge closed its gates for the final time in 1925.
The earliest recorded races in Cambridge were in 1841 to celebrate the Coronation, but it was to be a further 16 years before racing returned. That first meeting on Wednesday 30th June 1841 was included in Baily's Racing Register when the Coronation Plate, once round the course, was won by Mr Rogers’s Jessica at the expense of Mr J Smith’s Daniel. Two years later, at the meeting on Tuesday 18th July 1843 the Cambridge Town Plate went to Mr Poole’s Rapture, while the prestigious Cambridge Stakes was won by Lord W Powlett’s Nelly. As befits the academic institution, Cambridge University students held their own Steeplechase annually, called The Whip. The meetings were held close to Cambridge in Cottenham and results were regularly recorded in the Sporting Magazine. The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, now contested at the annual Cheltenham Festival in March, was held at Cottenham twice in the 1870s. After the February 1912 meeting there was a lapse in ‘recognised’ meetings at the course, particularly during the War years, and racing only returned to Cambridge for the November 1924 meeting. The final meeting took place on Thursday 7th May 1925.
Tuesday 18th July 1843
|I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
1969-77 The inaugural running of the Peterborough Chase was on Tuesday 2nd December 1969 over 3 miles
|The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
1983 Peterborough Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Robert Earnshaw
The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
|1990 Peterborough Chase was won by Pegwell Bay trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Jamie Railton
1991 Peterborough Chase was won by Sabin du Loir trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore
1992 Peterborough Chase was won by Remittance Man trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1993 Peterborough Chase was won by Travado trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Jamie Osborne
1994 Peterborough Chase was won by Martha’s Son trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Rodney Farrant
1995 Peterborough Chase was won by Travado trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1996 Peterborough Chase was won by Dublin Flyer trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Brendan Powell
1997 Peterborough Chase was won by One Man trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
2004 Peterborough Chase was won by Le Roi Miguel trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2011 Peterborough Chase was won by Gauvain trained by Nick Williams and ridden by Noel Fehily
2015 Peterborough Chase was won by Al Ferof trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton
|2016 Peterborough Chase
|Peter Greaves Memorial Handicap Steeplechase 2m 3f 189yds on Saturday 19th November 2022
|Jeremy Reynolds, great friend of Peter, played a pivotal role in helping to organise the Memorial Race, and made a significant contribution to an article in the Racing Post which is shown below.
Peter Greaves, who worked tirelessly over 34 years to improve facilities for disabled racegoers in Britain, was remembered at Huntingdon on Saturday with the first running of the Peter Greaves Memorial Handicap Chase at 2.33
The race itself involved 4 runners, Captain Broomfield (Evens fav), Maninsane (100/30), Kilfilum Woods (9/4) and The Knot is Tied (25/1).
|Peter Greaves with his wife Sylvia, Jeremy and Ruth Reynolds
|Winning owners with jockey Lilly Pinchen and trainer Charlie Longsden
|John Slusar, winner of the Peter Greaves Flat Tipping Competition 2022, with Denzil Underwood
|Sylvia Greaves, with her's and Peter's 3 granddaughters, present prizes to the winning owners Barrels of Courage, trainer Charlie Longsden and jockey Lilly Pinchen
|Sylvia Greaves presents the Peter Greaves Tipping Trophy to the winner of the 2022 Flat Competition.
|Roland Tingey, Richard Huckle (winner of the Peter Greaves NH Tipping Competition 2021-22), Priscilla Slusar & John Slusar (winner of the Peter Greaves Flat Tipping Competition 2022). A motley crew, but would you let any of them be banker in Monopoly?
774 former courses
400 former courses
140 former courses
235 former courses
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