Lincolnshire, Durham, Sussex already have a ‘National’ style race and on Saturday they were joined by Cambridgeshire's Huntingdon Racecourse in becoming the 13th venue to hold such a fixture. Dubbed the new Winter Ladies’ Day and sponsored by KIA Motors the race is contested over three miles and six furlongs.
This race will be the longest run at the course and it was the feature race on the card held on the 23rd of November. Although the racecourses main attraction remains the £60,000 Grade 2 Betfred Peterborough Chase, running on Thursday 12th December.
“We are delighted to be launching the first ever Cambridgeshire National race on our new Winter Ladies’ Day. Thanks to the support of Boongate KIA of Peterborough, we will be putting on a thrilling day’s sport. Not only will there be some great jump racing to watch, we’ll also have valuable prizes to be won in our winter best dressed competitions. Britain’s ‘National’ steeplechases are famous the world over and it’s superb to be adding the county of Cambridgeshire to that list. While I doubt this season’s eventual Crabbie’s Grand National winner will be running, we’re looking forward to watching some very talented staying steeplechasers here on November 23rd and to the race capturing the imagination of racing fans,” commented General Manager of Huntingdon Racecourse, Nadia Gollings when speaking to the Cambridge News.
The inaugural race was contested by eight runners for the modest prize fund of £6,498. The eventual winner and pre race favourite Soudain proved too strong for the rest of the field, winning by a good 15 lengths from runner up Arkose.
The busiest time of the year at Huntingdon Racecourse is said to be autumn and early winter, the following meetings will keep enthusiasts entertained in coming months: Betfred Peterborough Chase Day on Thursday 12th December and the Stan James Boxing Day fixture.