More than a million pounds will be up for grabs at Huntingdon Racecourse during 2018.

Huntingdon Racecourse new General Manager Liam Johnson,Huntingdon Racecourse new General Manager Liam Johnson,

It is the first-time the local track’s prize fund - spread across 19 fixtures during the next year - has exceeded seven figures.

The total figure of £1,192,200 represents a sharp rise from the £951,900 on offer in 2017 and comes following a record contribution to prize money from the track’s parent group, The Jockey Club. Huntingdon’s richest race, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, is usually worth around £65,000.

General manager Liam Johnson said: “This is a fantastic boost for Huntingdon Racecourse – just as it is for all racecourses within The Jockey Club group.

“We endeavour to attract the highest quality horses that we can to Cambridgeshire for our spectators to watch. We also pride ourselves in supporting all levels of racing and this increase in prize money will benefit everyone.”

The first action of 2018 takes place at Huntingdon Racecourse this Friday (January 12) when the £25,000 Smarkets Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle will provide the highlight of a six-race card.

Champion trainer Nicky Henderson has won three of the last nine runnings of the two-mile contest and he could be represented again after entering Style De Garde – a French import who enjoyed a successful British debut just before Christmas. Divin Bere took victory for Henderson 12 months ago before going on to run well in big races at the Cheltenham and Aintree Grand National meetings.

The Chatteris Fen has attracted 10 entries in total. Rediciean, who won first time out over hurdles during the festive period, is a horse of interest from the Alan King yard, who won the race with Sceau Royal in 2016.

The entire card at Huntingdon on Friday is sponsored by Smarkets, a betting exchange which is providing backing for 240 races at The Jockey Club courses during 2018. The opening race goes off at 1.30pm with the closing contest at 4pm.

Adult admission is £10 in advance and £15 on the day. Accompanied Under 18s are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available from http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or 0844 579 3007.