Huntingdon is a National Hunt venue situated in Brampton, close to Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.
It actually sits on a site called ‘Brampton Racecourse’, an important area and a biological site of special interest. The site is within the flood plain of Alconbury Brook and contains many species.
Over on the race track, the most notable event to take place is the Peterborough Chase, a Grade 2 race in December.
- Address – Huntingdon Racecourse, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 4NL.
- Owner – The Jockey Club.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Relatively strangely for a jumps course, Huntingdon is a pretty basic oval. It is right-handed, pretty flat and features easy bends. It often proves to be quite quick, though is around one and a half miles in length.
Each circuit features nine fences, and while the course is easy enough underneath, some of the obstacles can be rather challenging. What was the water jump here has been filled in and now features Astroturf.
Overall, speed is favoured more than stamina, so look out for those horses with fine speed figures as they can win races between obstacles, though of course when the ground is particularly soft then stamina will come into play.
Jockeys agree that Huntingdon rides very quick in the main, and given that it does tend to attract some horses from the Flat from nearby Newmarket, it is ideally situated.
With that, the form doesn’t always translate well to other tracks, but as a punter just be aware of what skills are needed around here on ground better than heavy.
A ‘racier’ type is needed as those long-striding, big and heavy jumps horses can find things a little too quick.
Visiting Huntingdon Racecourse
Most people visiting Huntingdon are taken by the relaxed atmosphere, something more common in racing away from the major venues such as Ascot.
Casual clothing is the order of the day for the most part, especially in the main enclosure and away from the hospitality areas, while those working at the track are known to make everyone welcome.
How to Get to Huntingdon Racecourse
The racecourse sits only a half-mile from the A14, with those visiting coming off at junction 22. The A14 can be accessed easily from the A1, M1, M11 and the M6.
Peterborough is just 20 miles north up the A1(M), Cambridge is 24 miles south-east on the A14, Northampton is a 36-mile drive to the west using the A45 and A14 while even London and Birmingham are within reach, being 66 miles and 78 miles away respectively.
Once at the track, racegoers can avail themselves of free on-site parking.
Where to Stay
Although there are rooms available in and around the Huntingdon area, much like race days at Newmarket many people choose to stay in Cambridge which is very close by.
Huntingdon Racecourse Fixtures
|Sunday||10th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
Best Races at Huntingdon
Huntingdon is famous for its Peterborough Chase, though there are some other decent races staged at the track.
A number of good novices turn up here, while the below races are the best staged at Huntingdon on paper:
|Peterborough Chase||4yo+, Chase, Grade 2||2m4f||December|
|Mares’ Bumper||4-6yo, Mares Only, National Hunt Flat Race, Listed||2m||December|
|Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle||4yo Only, Hurdle, Class 2||2m||January|
|Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase||5yo+, Mares Only, Chase, Listed Race||2m4f||January|
|Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle||4yo+, Novices’ Hurdle, Listed Race||2m3½f||February|
|Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 2||2m3½f||February|
About Huntingdon Racecourse
The first race meeting on record at Huntingdon was back in 1886 on Easter Monday.
There was one event, a chase contest over three miles and is really sparked interest in the sport in the local area.
The racecourse was part of the Huntingdon Steeplechase Group in 1920 and increased activities gradually over the years.
In 1953, construction of a grandstand was organised as developments on site took hold, in fact that grandstand is still in use today.
In recent years, the programme has grown quiet impressively at Huntingdon, with plenty of good novices showing up here to carry on their education.
The key race however is still December’s Peterborough Chase.
The Peterborough Chase
The standout race on the calendar at Huntingdon, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase is for those aged four and over and is known as a top-class winter event over 2½ miles.
The race is run in early December, features good prize money and there are sixteen fences to be jumped.
Some quality horses have won the Peterborough en route to Cheltenham, Aintree and other places, including Wayward Lad (twice), One Man, Edredon Bleu (four times), Best Mate, Monet’s Garden, Al Ferof and Top Notch (twice).
Those being potentially aimed at the Champion Chase, Ryanair Chase or even the Gold Cup may be sent to contest the Peterborough Chase first.