HORSE RACING: Big race winner really is a Happy Diva at Huntingdon
- Credit: Archant
Two winners from a high-class Friday of jump racing at Huntingdon Racecourse are set for the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Happy Diva went one better than last year when landing the local track’s second most valuable prize.
The 9/2 chance, trained in Herefordshire by Kerry Lee and already having her third run of 2019 already, won the £75,000 Listed Pertemps Protectress Mares’ Chase under jockey Richard Patrick.
Second in the corresponding race in 2018, she saw off the challenge of the even-money favourite and Irish raider Magic Of Light by one length and is poised for the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at Cheltenham.
Compensation for the runner-up’s County Kildare trainer Jessica Harrington, who was on her first trip to the Cambridgeshire racecourse, came 35 minutes later when her 9-2 fancy Not Many Left landed the Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle, a series qualifier for the final at Cheltenham for which he is now being targeted.
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It was also a productive day for trainer Graeme McPherson and jockey Kielan Woods enjoyed a 136-1 double with 20-1 fancy Sammylou and 11-2 joint favourite Daydream Aulmes in the Pertemps “National Hunt” Novices’ Handicap Hurdle and the Pertemps Commercial Handicap Hurdle respectively
Welsh trainer Katy Price ensured she will enjoy her most successful season to date after Itsamanslife won the Pertemps Network Industrial Novices’ Handicap Chase at odds of 12-1 under Ben Poste.
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The card was bookended by a couple of short-priced winners.
Scarlet Dragon, the 2-1 victor of the opening Pertemps Network Commercial Novices’ Hurdle, is likely to have future dates on Flat racecourses for trainer Alan King.
And the 11-10 market leader Rootless Tree took the closing Pertemps Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race for the father-and-son partnership of trainer Nigel and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.
The next meeting at Huntingdon Racecourse is on Thursday, February 7 when the feature race is the Listed Mansion Bet Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle.
Further information is available online at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk – tickets can be purchased there or by calling 0844 579 3007.