If beating Manchester City was not enough for Chelsea vice-president Alan Spence to celebrate on Saturday, there was more success for him at Huntingdon Racecourse yesterday.
Owner Spence saw his classy horse Josses Hill power to victory in the big Betfred Peterborough Chase - the highlight of the year at the local track with a prize fund of £65,000.
The 7/4 favourite, trained by Nicky Henderson and expertly ridden from the front by Noel Fehily, came home six lengths clear of runner-up Tea For Two and now heads to Kempton Park for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
The highly-rated More Of That - touted as a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender by his trainer Jonjo O’Neill - could only manage third while another former Cheltenham Festival winner - Dodging Bullets - looked set to provide the biggest challenge to Josses Hill before fading into fourth.
Volnay de Thaix - another Henderson horse - brought up the rear as only five runners went to post from a dozen entries for the race.
The principal supporting race, the Betfred TV Henrietta Knight Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, went the way of 4/1 chance Oscar Rose for trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey Paddy Brennan.
There was a double success for champion jockey Richard Johnson as he guided 9/2 shot Muthabir to victory in the opening Betfred ‘Wishing You a Happy Christmas’ Handicap Hurdle and then steered home the big-priced New Member at 16/1 in the Betfred Lotto ‘£100K Cash Giveaway’ Handicap Hurdle.
A Little Magic was a 6/1 victorin the Betfred ‘Like Us On Facebook’ Chase for O’Neill and jockey Aidan Coleman while outsider Glaring (a 33/1 shot for jockey Jamie Moore and trainer Amanda Perrett) made a successful debut over timbler in the Betfred ‘Follow Us on Twitter” Novices’ Hurdle.
The Jugopolost has had to wait rather longer to taste glory, but finally got his head in front when taking the concluding Betfred Mobile Novices’ Handicap Chase - his 29th outing over fences. Jockey Ben Poste brought home the 8/1 shot in front for Leicestershire trainer John Cornwall.
The final 2016 fixture at Huntingdon is on Boxing Day and tickets are already on sale through http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk.
They are priced at £18 in advance for the Main Enclosure and £9 in advance for the Picnic Enclosure. Accompanied children aged 17 years and under are admitted free of charge and it’s half-price entry for young adults aged between 18 and 24 years who register at RacePass18to24.co.uk.