It might have been heavy going for the horses at Huntingdon Racecourse last Thursday, but there was easy money to be made for punters.

Fugitives Drift on the way to victory in Division Two of the Betway Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon Racecourse last Thursday. Picture: FRANCESCA ALTOFT PHOTOGRAPHYFugitives Drift on the way to victory in Division Two of the Betway Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon Racecourse last Thursday. Picture: FRANCESCA ALTOFT PHOTOGRAPHY

Five of the seven contests during the Betway Afternoon Raceday fixture were won by favourites to leave the bookies running for cover.

The most impressive winner was one of those market leaders, Miss Heritage, who sluiced through the mud to take the two-mile handicap hurdle by a staggering 37 lengths for Newmarket-based Lucy Wadham.

That success at odds of 15/8 continued the fine record of French jockey Maxime Tissier as he claimed his fourth win from just 12 rides at the local track.

Former champion trainer Nicky Henderson provided the shortest-priced winner with Fugitives Drift, the 11/8 favourite, when winning the second division of the novices' hurdle under stable jockey Nico De Boinville by three-and-a-half lengths.

The closest finish of the afternoon came in the first division of that race 30 minutes earlier when the 9/2 chance Rock On Rocco, under Johnny Burke for trainer Tom George, prevailed by half a length.

Gloucestershire-based trainer Fergal O'Brien was on the scoresheet once again courtesy of Project Mars (7/2 favourite), having just his second start for the trainer, with victory in the 18-runner handicap hurdle over two-and-a-half miles.

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The eight-year-old was O'Brien's 57th winner of the campaign as he closes in on his best-ever return of 60 in a single campaign.

The mares' maiden hurdle over two-and-a-half miles was won by Miss Honey Ryder, ridden by Adrian Heskin for trainer Warren Greatrex, who recorded her first victory over hurdles in denying the 5/2 joint-favourites Legends Ryde and Who's The Boss.

There were two steeplechases on the card, the first of which was won by 5/2 favourite Enrichissant, who seemingly relished the very soft ground to saunter clear of his rivals by 18 lengths and record his second victory in as many starts at the course for jockey Brendan Powell and trainer David Bridgwater.

Despite the severe weather in Herefordshire in recent days, it hasn't stopped trainer Venetia Williams who sent out her fifth winner of the week with evens favourite Ibleo, ridden by stable jockey Charlie Deutsch, maintaining his unbeaten record over fences to win the closing novices' handicap chase over two miles.

Racing returns to Huntingdon for the first Family Fun Day of the year on Sunday, March 1.

In addition to the action on the track, there will be lots of entertainment for the kids off it with Under 18s also gaining free admission.

The first race is scheduled for 2.20pm and tickets can be booked through www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/huntingdon.