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
The Cambridge Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Nelly owned by Lord W Powlett
2. Ends and Odds owned by Mr Pettit
3. Rapture owned by Mr Poole

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
1967 Ladies 1967 Gents 1968 Gents 1969 Ladies 1969 Gents

1969-77 The inaugural running of the Peterborough Chase was on Tuesday 2nd December 1969 over 3 miles
From 1978 onwards the Peterborough Chase was run over 2 miles 4 ½ furlongs
1978 Peterborough Chase was won by Purdo trained by Nick Gaselee and ridden by Bob Davies
1979 Peterborough Chase was won by Chumson trained by Fred Winter and ridden by Oliver Sherwood
1980 Peterborough Chase was won by Border Incident trained by Richard Head and ridden by Ron Barry
1981 Peterborough Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Robert Earnshaw
1982 Peterborough Chase was abandoned due to fog

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
1973 Gents 1973 Ladies 1974 Ladies 1975 Gents 1975 Ladies

1983 Peterborough Chase was won by Wayward Lad trained by Michael Dickinson and ridden by Robert Earnshaw
1984 Peterborough Chase was won by Carved Opal trained by Fred Winter and ridden by John Francome
1985 Peterborough Chase was won by The Mighty Mac trained by Mrs Monica Dickinson and ridden by Graham Bradley
1986 Peterborough Chase was won by Western Sunset trained by Tim Forster and ridden by Hywel Davies
1987 Peterborough Chase was won by Very Promising trained by David Nicholson and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1988 Peterborough Chase was won by Townley Stone trained by John Webber and ridden by George Mernagh
1989 Peterborough Chase was won by Clever Folly trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Neale Doughty

Huntingdon 1977.JPG (11731 bytes)

The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

Huntingdon 1992.JPG (11553 bytes)
1988 Gents 1989 Gents 1990 Gents 1991 Gents 1992 Gents
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
1993 Gents 1994 Gents 1995 Gents 1996 Gents 1997 Gents

1997 Peterborough Chase was won by One Man trained by Gordon W Richards and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1998 Peterborough Chase was won by Edredon Bleu trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty
1999 Peterborough Chase was won by Edredon Bleu trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty
2000 Peterborough Chase was won by Edredon Bleu trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty
2001 Peterborough Chase was won by Edredon Bleu trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Norman Williamson
2002 Peterborough Chase was won by Best Mate trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty
2003 Peterborough Chase was won by Jair du Cochet trained by Guillaume Macaire and ridden by Jacques Ricou

1998 Gents 1999 Gents 2000 Gents 2001 Gents 2002 Gents

2004 Peterborough Chase was won by Le Roi Miguel trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2005 Peterborough Chase was won by Impek trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Tony McCoy
2006 Peterborough Chase was won by Racing Demon trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Graham Lee
2007 Peterborough Chase was won by Racing Demon trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Tony McCoy
2008 Peterborough Chase was won by Monet’s Garden trained by Nicky Richards and ridden by Davy Condon
2009 Peterborough Chase was won by Deep Purple trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Paul Moloney
2010 Peterborough Chase (run at Newbury) was won by Tartak trained by Tom George and ridden by Paddy Brennan

2003 Gents 2004 Gents 2005 Gents 2006 Gents 2007 Gents

2011 Peterborough Chase was won by Gauvain trained by Nick Williams and ridden by Noel Fehily
2012 Peterborough Chase (run at Kempton) was won by Menorah trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson
2013 Peterborough Chase was won by Riverside Theatre trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2014 Peterborough Chase was won by Wishful Thinking trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson

2008 Gents 2009 Member 2010 Member 2011 Member 2012 Member

2015 Peterborough Chase was won by Al Ferof trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by Harry Skelton
2016 Peterborough Chase was won by Josses Hill trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Noel Fehily
2017 Peterborough Chase (run at Taunton after Huntingdon was abandoned) was won by Top Notch trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Daryl Jacob
2018 Peterborough Chase was won by Charbel trained by Kim Bailey and ridden by Noel Fehily

2013 Member 2014 Member 2015 Member 2016 Member 2016 Peterborough Chase
2017 Member 2018 Member 2019 Member 2020 Member 2021 Member
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
A passionate racegoer and lover of horses, Greaves was struck down with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the early 1980s. Far from letting his disability curb his enthusiasm for racing, he channelled his passion for the sport into a crusade to improve disabled racecourse facilities.
Greaves made several appearances on Channel 4 Racing as he raised awareness and, along with good friend Jeremy Reynolds, travelled far and wide to meet with racecourse officials and offer recommendations for improvements.
Author of the Disabled Racegoers Guide, Greaves is credited with vastly improving the experience for the disabled racegoers, with the viewing platform at the front of the members' enclosure at Sandown just one example of his legacy.
Greaves died in 2020 at the age of 77 but his widow Sylvia and friend Reynolds are delighted to see him remembered at one his local and favourite tracks on Saturday.
'Peter absolutely loved all aspects of horseracing – it excited and enthralled him and gave him a new mission in life,' said Reynolds. 'I admired such a courageous and inspirational man and it is entirely appropriate that a chase is being run in his memory at Huntingdon, one of Peter’s favourite racecourses, with his family and friends there to celebrate his life and achievements.'
As well as helping to improve on-course facilities, Greaves was an enthusiastic fundraiser and racing manager of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA). He managed to lease several horses on the Flat and over jumps on the charity's behalf, raising more than £50,000 through prize-money. 
Perhaps his greatest coup was securing the lease on Lower Egypt, owned by Sheikh Mohammed and trained by John Gosden, in 1994. Under Frankie Dettori, Lower Egypt won twice at York and finished second in the Royal Hunt Cup in the colours of the SIA. 
His friends and family were guests at Huntingdon, including daughter Helen and son Steve, who have travelled from Australia to attend. Other guests include members of the Bedford and District Racing Club where Greaves was a keen member. The Racing Club organise the Peter Greaves Memorial Tipping Competition both on the Flat and over jumps twice per season.

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

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PETER GREAVES
Peter Greaves was a remarkable person who was struck down with MS in the mid-1980s, but never complained about his condition and instead channelled his passion for racing and horses on a crusade to improve disabled facilities at racecourses. The result was the publication of his Disabled Racegoers Guide and he travelled far and wide to racecourses over 34 years as part of this campaign. He then became the Racing Manager of the SIA (Spinal Injuries Association), and got horses leased to the charity to raise funds, one of which was Lower Egypt, leased from Hamdan Al Maktoum, which won twice at York, came 2nd in the 1994 Royal Hunt Cup, and earned over £30,000 for the charity.

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?

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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