CARTMEL JOCKEYS CHALLENGE
Charlotte Jones made history at Cartmel season when she became the first female jockey and the first conditional rider to win the Cartmel Jockeys Challenge since the competition was introduced at the track in 2008.
And not only did she romp away with the title, she did it in style with her tally of 11 winners this season, including four doubles, equalling the best ever score for a jockey at Cartmel, set by perennial Challenge winner Brian Hughes in 2018.
The measure of Barrow-born Charlotte’s achievement is drawn into even sharper focus when you consider that the 11 winners she has ridden at Cartmel this year account for exactly 33% of her career total to date.
She set her stall out early with a first day double and though she drew a blank on day two, another double on the Wednesday meant that she ended the opening May Bank Holiday fixture in pole position.
From then on it was plain sailing. After the opening day of the June meeting was washed out, Charlotte went on the rampage and never a Cartmel raceday went by without her riding at least one winner and occasionally two.
Throughout the season, Sean Quinlan kept the pressure on Charlotte, but she never wilted and their personal dual was caught in microcosm in the Fitzdares Club Cartmel Cup on the Saturday of the August meeting as Charlotte on Alqamar and Sean on Ingelby Hollow battled it out in the home straight before Charlotte prevailed by a neck.
Having chased her so valiantly for much of the season, a last day blank meant that Sean surrendered second place to five-times Challenge winner Brian Hughes, who reached 26 points at the end, but was still a massive 12 points adrift.
Points are awarded on the basis of three for a winner, two for a second and one for a third and the final table was:-
|Jonjo O’Neill jnr||5|
|Miss Becky Smith||5|
CARTMEL TRAINERS CHALLENGE
It was records all the way for local trainer James Moffatt as he regained the Cartmel Trainers’ Challenge crown that he last wore in 2017 when a last day double took his score of winners at Cartmel to 12 for the season, a record for the course.
James had gone into the last day of competition with the Andrea Robinson Memorial Trophy, which goes to the Trainers Challenge winner, already in the bag, but he needed one more winner to eclipse the previous of record of 10 winners in a season set by Peter Bowen in 2018.
And it didn’t take long with Native Fighter winning the second race, appropriately enough the Louis Roederer Handicap Hurdle as part of his prize for being top trainer is a mini-break visit to the cellars of Cartmel’s champagne partner Louis Roederer in France.
Then, to put the icing on the cake, Dressedforsuccess battled home in the Molson Coors Cavendish Cup Handicap Chase to take his Cartmel tally to 12, setting a score which will be very hard to beat, even though a day was lost to the weather.
As well as setting a new figure for Cartmel, Native Fighter was James’s 150th winner over jumps. It is an indication of the trainer’s love affair with his local course that of his now 151 jumping winners, 44 of them have been at Cartmel.
Winning the Challenge for the fourth time, James accumulated 42 points to finish well ahead of Dianne Sayer, who had another terrific season on 28 points and Sam England, who got her first podium finish with 19 points. Seven-times winner Donald McCain, the only other winner of the competition, was fourth on 18 points.
The table read:-
|William Young Jr||5|
How do the Challenges work?
Every jockey who has a ride and every trainer who has a runner at Cartmel is automatically included. The challenges work on a points system with three points for a win, two points for second and one point for third. Come the last race meeting of the season and the Jockey with most points after the last race is crowned champion and receives a luxury weekend break for two at the Swan Hotel & Spa. The top Trainer receives the Andrea Robinson Memorial Trophy.
Results will be kept up to date in each racecard and on a notice board outside the weighing room and on the website.