Huntingdon is a market town sitting on the banks of the Great Ouse River in Cambridgeshire in the east of England. It’s history can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon times. It was the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell who also served as MP for the area. Much later in time, John Major also served as MP until his retirement. The town was chartered by King John in 1205.
It’s proximity to the major roads A1 and A14 make driving to and from Huntingdon in all directions quite simple.
Although a relatively small town, it has plenty to offer in the way of accommodation, bars and eateries. A quick peruse of TripAdvisor or something similar will guide all budgets.
A few items worth looking at when visiting, if you have time
Houghton Mill – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/houghton-mill-and-waterclose-meadows
Hinchingbrooke Country Park – http://www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/hinchingbrookecountrypark
The Manor at Hemingford Grey – http://www.greenknowe.co.uk/
The Cromwell Museum – https://www.cromwellmuseum.org/
Huntingdon Racecourse hosts only National Hunt Racing.
Huntingdon is a right-handed, oval and galloping circuit of one mile and a half. The fences are mainly quite tricky, the bends are easy and the course very much favours speedy types who can jump well.
Clerk of the course: Jack Pryor
Course telephone number: 01480 453373
Huntingdon is 66 miles from Central London, 79 miles from Birmingham, 165 miles from Bristol, 185 miles from Cardiff, 161 miles from Manchester and 334 miles from Edinburgh.
The racecourse is situated 2 miles to the west of town off A14 Kettering road.
The course post code is PE28 4NL
Course parking is free.
The nearest railway station is Huntingdon Station, about two and a half miles from the course.
Course website: http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk/
Disabled access: http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk/plan-your-race-day/visitor-information/Venue-Accessibility-Huntingdon
Essentially, there is just one enclosure at Huntingdon and the course sell different packages based on it. It seems cheaper to book in advance and print your ticket off. There is no dress code though the racecourse prefer smart dress in hospitality areas. There is a good view from the stands.
The Peterborough Chase Restaurant is the racecourses finest eating area and offers good views of the racecourse. Advance booking is probably wise. There are of course other different and cheaper options if you prefer. The racecourse does have a picnic enclosure but this is only open on specific days (advertised on the website).
There is plenty of space behind the stands and this is where you will find entry to all the different bars, access to food and to the parade ring. There wasn’t any pre-parade ring as far as I can see.
It’s close to three hours drive from home to here which isn’t how I would usually choose to start the day but needs must. It’s my first ever visit here and I’ve been looking forward to it. I did see a Holiday Inn as I drove on to the course and was tempted to see if they had space but as I’m planning Hereford tomorrow, I decided to drive home afterwards anyway.
Quite small fields today with a lot of non-runners, perhaps because the ground was riding close to good to firm on a lot of the track. But two did catch my eye and I backed them both.
The third race was a Class 4 Novice Hurdle over just under two and a half miles and featured just the six runners. The Nicky Henderson trained Full Bore was having his third run over hurdles having won the first at Bangor and finishing 2nd last time at Warwick, both over two miles. He had run on from the last at Warwick suggesting (to me at least) that two and a half miles would be right up his street. Of the other five runners, only Balli Martine and Don Des Fosses had jumped hurdles in public with neither troubling the judge. Full Bore was a confident bet at 11/8 (returned 10/11F) and my confidence was rewarded. He tracked the leading pair and took it up after the 2nd last and despite wandering about in front, drew away to win easily by nine lengths. As in previous races, he showed a tendency to pull left despite which I think there are more races in him.
In the next race, a Class4 Handicap chase, my eye was drawn to McCabe Creek who was back down to his last winning mark of 117 when winning here just over a year ago over todays trip of just over two miles. At 6/1 last night he looked a bit of value in this six runner field and I also managed just over 5/4 in the 3 places market on Betfair. The field reduced to just five today with McCabe Creek vying for favouritism with the Gary Moore trained Darebin who had in fairness being running the better of the two recently but conceding 7lb. As the race turned out, I knew my fate early enough as McCabe Creek did not jump well at all though managed to stay on his feet until disposing of his jockey at the last when well beaten. Huntingdon isn’t a course where you can get away with too much sloppy jumping. Darebin won going away in an extraordinary finish after jumping the last in third a few lengths down, winning going away.
So a small profit which I dare say I will spend at Hereford tomorrow
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