The winning trio in last weekend’s Scottish Grand National will be reunited at Carlisle as the National Hunt season closes in Cumbria.
For county-based trainer Nicky Richards and rider Sean Quinlan it will be down to business as they look to sign off in style.
Meanwhile, their champion charge, Takingrisks, will have nothing more strenuous to do than take the plaudits as he’s led around the parade ring before the action gets under way.
The 10-year-old is well known at Carlisle after warming up for Ayr by first landing the Aglionby Veterans’ Handicap Chase in March.
Quinlan has three rides at the seven-race Easter Family Fun Day, which has crazy golf, arts and crafts, inflatable slide, climbing wall and classic school sports day events all happening alongside the track.
Quinlan landed a Carlisle double when taking Philip Kirby’s 12-1 shot Romeo Brown to the winning post at the same meeting as Takingrisks’ success. On Saturday he looks to add to April wins at Hexham and Ayr on Richards’ Petite Ganache in the Upperby Novices’ Handicap Chase. The seven-year-old has had a two-month break since a fifth at Carlisle which followed a win over hurdles at Newcastle.
Competition is likely to come from Jonjo O’Neill’s Aquarian, also a hurdles winner, at Huntingdon over a longer trip in November. Louloumills will make the short journey from Farlam for Maurice Barnes.
Quinlan will also be fancied in the Reece Tooze Memorial Handicap Hurdle over 3m 1f. He takes the reigns of Kenny Johnson’s Cairnshill, who was a runner up at this course behind Some Can Dance over the same distance last time out.
Also in the running will be Pegase Amour from Ireland’s Liam Lennon. Donald McCain’s Tawseef was a Carlisle winner when partnered with his daughter Ella back in 2017. Her sister Abbie will be in charge this time.
Quinlan gets his afternoon’s work under way in the Pauline Phizacklea Memorial Novices’ Hurdle with another chance on Kirby’s Whoshotthesheriff, a winner twice in three attempts over hurdles. That includes a win on debut for his new trainer last time out at Sedgefield.
McCain’s Liva will likely feature strongly after two wins at Musselburgh this season. Last time out was in a Class 2 at Ascot where he was in the places before falling away towards the finish.
Peppay Le Pugh is the highest rated horse at the meeting and will be a strong contender in the racingtv.com Chase, a novices’ limited handicap over two miles. Dan Skelton’s eight-year-old was a winner last time out over similar distance at the Scottish Grand National meeting. Sam England’s Wishfull Dreaming has triumphed at both Musselburgh and Doncaster this year.
School Lane will be looking to go one better than the five runner-up spots secured this season for Lennon. He goes in a handicap chase over 2m 4f. Challenge may come from previous Carlisle winner Instingtive for Lisa Harrison and Ross Chapman.
The afternoon opens with a competitive looking conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle over 2m 1f.
Of the 13 lining up, Strait Run for Micky Hammond was a Carlisle winner over similar distance in March when he finished well after going clear at the last. Kirby’s Lady Kyria won when favourite at Newcastle last month over two miles. Green Zone is no stranger to Carlisle, his best effort for Harrison being runner up in a 19-strong field over 2m 1f in November.
The jumps season finishes with O’Neill, Hammond, Lucinda Russell and Keith Dalgleish declaring for a National Hunt flat race over 2m 1f.
Tickets for Saturday’s Easter Family Fun Day are £15 for adults (in advance) or £18 (on the day). Under-18s free entry when accompanied by an adult.
Gates open 11.40am, first race is 1.40pm and last race 5.40pm.