HORSE RACING: The last two winners do battle again in big Peterborough Chase

Charbel on the way to victory in the Peterborough Chase - which was run as the Tattersalls Ireland E

Charbel on the way to victory in the Peterborough Chase - which was run as the Tattersalls Ireland Edredon Blue Chase - at Huntingdon Racecourse last year. Picture: FRANCESCA ALTOFT PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

The last two winners of the biggest contest on the Huntingdon Racecourse calendar will take each other on in pursuit of more glory today.

A total of six horses have stood their ground for the 50th anniversary running of the Fitzdares Peterborough Chase at 2pm

Charbel, the victor 12 months ago for trainer Kim Bailey, seeks back-to-back triumphs in the Grade 2 contest which carries a prize fund of £65,000, but it likely to go off as an outsider.

Top Notch, who took the honours in 2017 when the race was transferred to Taunton due to snow, is chasing another triumph for trainer Nicky Henderson, who boasts six previous successes in the two-and-a-half mile event.

Top Notch is battling for favouritism with mare La Bague Au Roi, trained by Warren Greatrex and ridden by the champion jump jockey Richard Johnson.

That horse already has Huntingdon victories to her name in a National Hunt Flat race and over hurdles.

Trainer Venetia Williams will saddle another top contender in Aso, who was a narrow runner-up in the Ryanair Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

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And completing the half dozen are Born Survivor from the Midlands stables of Dan Skelton and rank outsider, Kauto Riko, who makes his seasonal debut for trainer Tom Gretton.

If the winner of the race goes on to claim victory in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, a £500,000 bonus courtesy of new sponsor Fitzdares will be triggered. That feat has been achieved once before - by the brilliant Best Mate back in 2002/03.

Racing begins at 12.30pm on Sunday with gates opening two hours earlier. The Fitzdares Peterborough Chase is at 2pm.

Big race odds: Top Notch 2/1, La Bague Au Roi 5/2, Aso 5/2, Born Survivor 12/1, Charbel 14/1, Kauto Riko 66/1.