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Katie Walsh banking on Henderson duo

Katie Walsh, one of National Hunt racing’s best female jockeys, is keen to find a ride in the £15,000 Cartmel Cheeses Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle at Cartmel on Saturday.

And she may get her wish if Lieutenant Miller beats the odds and gets a run in the big race of the day, the £28,000 added Totepool.com Cumbria Crystal Hurdle.

Lieutenant Miller’s trainer Nicky Henderson, who has never had a runner at the Cumbrian course, explained: “Henry Ponsonby, who owns Lieutenant Miller is very keen for the horse to run, but he is well down the handicap and needs a lot to come out.

“If the miracle happens and he does get into the race, then I would probably run Cape Express in the Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle, something I would be a lot happier to do if I could get Katie Walsh to ride him.

“Cape Express is a good young horse who has won his two races so far, but is still eligible to run in a novice hurdle so there is no rush to put him in a handicap. Even so, if Katie would ride, it would be extremely tempting” said Henderson.

The trainer added: “I can’t really see Lieutenant Miller getting into his race though and it would be a long way to send just one horse when I have other options, so the odds are stacked against it”.

Katie Walsh had originally planned to ride in the ladies race on the Flat at Ascot this weekend, but could now be left without a ride.

Her father Ted Walsh explained: “We think that her planned ride is now not going to run and, if so, then she would dearly love to get across to Cartmel to ride in the Cartmel Cheeses Handicap Hurdle if there is a ride going”.

With Britain’s top female jump jockey Lucy Alexander scheduled to ride Constant Contact for Cartmel’s leading trainer Donald McCain, it would make for a fantastic match-up if Katie does pick up a ride in the race, especially if Cape Express makes it.

 

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Top trainer Skelton targets big race double

Dan Skelton, who has made a flying start to the campaign with more than 40 winners on the board already, is targeting a big race double with two of his early-season stars on the opening day of Cartmel’s Barbecue Meeting tomorrow.

Skelton’s 41 winners so far is 17 more than the Jonjo O’Neill, who is currently in second place for winners and more than the double the early season tally of his former boss, the champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

Four of those wins have been clocked up by Petrou, who is unbeaten since joining Skelton from Ben Case. The seven-year-old will attempt to complete the five timer in Cartmel’s most valuable race of the year, the £27,000 guaranteed Totescoop6 Cumbria Crystal Cup Handicap Hurdle.

“Petrou is on a roll and is hopefully not done with yet, he will have a tougher task as is mark has gone up 21lbs since he won on his debut for me at Stratford two months ago, but I am hopeful for tomorrow.” said Skelton.

To help protect his mark, Petrou switched to fences last time after three straight handicap wins over hurdles and he took that in his stride with a game defeat of River Of Intrigue at Uttoxeter.

The talented Bridget Andrews takes the ride on Petrou as she will on the front-running Ravens Hill, who has won two of his three races since joining Skelton in March and who goes in the Banks Lyon Jewellers Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle.

The only handicap hurdle in the country restricted to lady jockeys, the race not only carries £10,000 in added prize money, but for the winning rider the bonus of a stunning piece of diamond jewellery worth in excess of £5,000.

“Ravens Hill got off the mark for me at Sedgefield and followed up at Uttoxeter, I am not sure how he will handle the ground but he should be competitive” said Skelton.

The seven-race card gets underway with the Cartmel Lodge Park Novices Hurdle at 1.55pm.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cartmel geared up for big day of the season

Cartmel is geared up for one of its major days of the season on Saturday when the most valuable race run at the racecourse, the £27,000 Totescoop6 Cumbria Crystal Cup Handicap Hurdle will take centre-stage.

 

Now in its sixth season, the race has quickly become established as one of the most competitive races in the Cartmel calendar as evidenced by the fact that it was only last year, when Eshtiaal won for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, that a favourite obliged.

 

Saturday is the opening day of the traditional Barbecue Meeting, which continues on Monday, July 24 and as well as the big race features the only handicap hurdle in the country restricted to lady jockeys.

 

The Banks Lyon Jewellers Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle not only carries £10,000 in added prize money, but for the winning rider the bonus of a stunning piece of diamond jewellery worth in excess of £5,000.

 

With the Champagne Louis Roederer Handicap Chase, which is a qualifier for the Northern Lights Middle Distance Chase Series and the latest round of the Hadwins Motor Group Mares Hurdle Series which carries a £1,000 bonus prize for the winning stable, Saturday’s meeting is action packed.

 

The seven-race card gets underway with the Cartmel Lodge Park Novices Hurdle at 1.55pm.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Four-Nations Challenge Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle, Sunday 2nd July.

The purpose of this race is to promote competition and fraternity between amateur jockeys from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Trainers with runners in this race are therefore encouraged to put up an amateur jockey from their home-nation - so a Welsh Trainer should (as a preference) put up a Welsh jockey, a Scottish trainer a Scottish jockey, an English trainer and English jockey and an Irish trainer and Irish Jockey.