With record prize money of close to £700,000 on offer over nine days racing, it is all systems go for Cartmel’s 2018 season which gets under way with the traditional three day fixture over the Whit weekend.
Four new sponsors will be supporting races at the opening meeting including Bidfood and Heineken, who are supporting races on Wednesday, May 30. Top tipster Marten Julian, who is always a key member of the Cheltenham Festival preview panel at Cartmel, is also backing a race at the fixture. He sponsors the Awesome Foursome Novices Hurdle on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28.
Saturdays’s card opens with the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Novice Hurdle, supported by Howard and Jean Johns of Cartmel Village Shop. Howard and Jean are keen supporters of racing at Cartmel and, as usual, will provide one of their world famous sticky toffee puddings for every winning owner, trainer and jockey throughout the season. However, in a new twist this year, they will also be providing a further two puddings each for the connections of the second and third horse home in each race.
Also on the Saturday card is the first race in the Hadwins Mares Only Hurdle series which runs throughout the summer. Supported by Hadwins, the Lindale-based Audi and Volkswagen dealer, the series carries a £1,000 bonus prize for the yard accumulating the greatest number of points. The feature race of the opening weekend is the £20,000 Oakmere Homes Handicap Hurdle over three-and-a-quarter miles which takes centre stage on the Bank Holiday Monday. It is one of two big races that Oakmere Homes are supporting again this season with the £40,000 Oakmere Homes Handicap Chase the feature race of the meeting on Sunday, July 1st. On the same card, top billing is shared by the £40,000 Champagne Louis Roederer Handicap Hurdle, supported by Cartmel’s champagne house partner.
With Totepool pulling out of all sponsorship after the middle of the year when Britbet is expected to take over pool betting in Britain, bookmaker William Hill becomes the new backer of the £25,000 Cumbria Crystal Trophy Handicap Hurdle on Saturday, July 21.
The same card again features Britain’s only hurdle race restricted to lady riders. The Banks Lyon Jewellers Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle not only carries £15,000 in prize money, but the winning rider receives a brilliant piece of diamond jewellery from the Lancaster-based sponsor.
Cartmel’s season ends in traditional style with a two fixture over the August Bank Holiday featuring some top class racing. Highlight of the Saturday meeting is the £18,200 William Hill Cartmel Cup, always a competitive handicap hurdle over two and a quarter miles.
On the final day, August Bank Holiday Monday, Coral bookmakers will be supporting three races including the £20,000 Coral Handicap Chase and the £20,000 Coral Cavendish Cup. The final race of the year is the Swan Hotel and Spa Handicap Hurdle, sponsored by the Newby Bridge-based hotel. As well as this race, they are again supporting the Cartmel Jockeys Challenge.