Top talent in thrill of the Chase

SOME of the finest equine talent in the country will contest the totesport Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon Racecourse. The likes of this year s Gold Cup winner Exotic Dancer and Monkerhostin, who was second in last year s Chase, are already confirmed for

SOME of the finest equine talent in the country will contest the totesport Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon Racecourse.

The likes of this year's Gold Cup winner Exotic Dancer and Monkerhostin, who was second in last year's Chase, are already confirmed for Saturday's televised £75,000 feature event.

Last year's winner Impek - owned by perennial Chase winner Jim Lewis - is injured and will not run but trainer Henrietta Knight may opt to run young prospect Racing Demon instead.

Huntingdon Racecourse managing director, Amy Starkey, said: "Saturday promises to be one of the top racing days of the year at Huntingdon.


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"We are attracting some top-class entrants and to have the television cameras here is a great fillip for us and offers a great chance for national exposure."

A crowd in excess of 4,000 people is expected at the course and can expect to see a total of seven races - three of which will be broadcast live to the nation on Channel 4 television.

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Other entrants are likely to include horses from the stables of champion trainer Paul Nicholls - who saddled Le Roi Miguel to victory in 2004 - and possibly a representation from French trainer Guillaume Macaire, who won the race three years ago with Jair du Cochet.

Saturday also marks the opening of a newly-refurbished bar at the track, named Gurney's after former racecourse chairman Gurney Sheppard, who died three years ago.

The meet will be among the first major events since the death of legendary steeplechaser Desert Orchid on Monday.

The famous grey, known affectionately as "Dessie", raced at Huntingdon on a number of occasions and took part in his penultimate race at the course in the 1991 Peterborough Chase.

Ms Starkey said: "Although I was very young when Desert Orchid was racing, I can still remember how excited everyone was about him.

"I'm sure a lot of local race fans will remember him racing at Huntingdon in 1991 and it must have been a fantastic experience to see him here."

INFORMATION: The gates at the racecourse open at 10.25am and the first race is at 12.20pm. The feature Peterborough Chase is at 3pm, with the final race at 3.30pm.

Admission is £16 for the Premier Enclosure, £13 for the Paddock Enclosure and £7 for the Picnic Enclosure.

Accompanied children aged under 16 can enter for free and parking at the Brampton course is free. For more information visit www.huntingdon-racecourse.co.uk

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