While schools were out, punters flocked in to Huntingdon Racecourse last week.
An excellent crowd was treated to an exciting afternoon of action on Thursday when an ownership group from The Jockey Club – which runs the track – celebrated victory.
Around 20 members of the syndicate were present to see Hes No Trouble land the MansionBet Novices’ Hurdle for trainer Kim Bailey and jockey David Bass at a price of 15/8.
During the race there was a remarkable recovery by jockey Harry Skelton on Anytime Will Do who stumbled when challenging for victory at the final flight. The rider managed to cling on and get back into the saddle to finish fifth.
Clondaw Castle not only triumphed at Huntingdon, but also stormed to the top of the market for a race at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Tom George-trained and Ciaran Gethings-ridden 8/11 shot took the MansionBet Chase to become favourite for the Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks’ time.
Hear The Chimes won at the corresponding meeting at Huntingdon four years ago and the 10 year-old returned to the track to take the opening MansionBet Handicap Hurdle at 12/1 under jockey Sam Twiston-Davies for trainer Shaun Harris.
Northamptonshire trainer Caroline Bailey’s 8/1 chance Dyliev won the Download The MansionBet App Handicap Hurdle for rider Sean Bowen, while the MansionBet John Bigg Oxo Handicap Chase went the way of the 2-1 favourite Air De Rock (ridden by Charlie Deutsch for Venetia Williams).
The champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson has a great record with his horses at Huntingdon and he landed the concluding MansionBet Mares’ Maiden Hurdle with the 6-4 market leader Loveherandleaveher as Gold Cup-winning jockey Nico de Boinville did the steering.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson was the star guest at a Cheltenham Festival preview event which followed racing.
The next fixture at Huntingdon is this Sunday (March 3) when the local track stages its Family Fun Day event.
The feature event is the stamina-sapping Cambridgeshire National run over the ultra-long distance of three miles and six-and-a-half furlongs.
That is part of a seven-race card which gets underway at 2pm. The closing contest goes off at 5.10pm.
Advanced ticket prices are £13 for adults and £25 for families. They can be purchased at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3007.