There will be sparkle on and off the track as Carlisle’s flat season moves up a gear with back-to-back race days.
There’s racing and networking on Thursday evening and the following day’s Fizz Friday promises exactly that with a bring-your-own bottle offer and some top-quality names represented on the course.
There’s a bumper 184 runners and riders declared for the two days with a maximum 97 set for the stalls across Thursday’s eight races.
Friday’s main event is the EBF Premier Fillies Handicap with 11 hopefuls battling for the £25,000 prize money.
Last year’s winning combo of trainer Andrew Balding and jockey David Probert will be aiming for a repeat of Foxtrot Lady’s success with Strict Tempo, who returned at Salisbury last month.
And making her season return will be Ralph Beckett’s impressive Gold Arrow who closed 2018 with victories at Leicester and Brighton and so far boasts a two from four record.
Daniel Kubler’s Chitra was a winner last time out at Salisbury to add to three victories last year. Meanwhile, the leading Carlisle combo of trainer Karl Burke and jockey Ben Curtis, who topped the course’s winners’ charts last flat season, will be hoping for more joy with Praxidice, a novice auction stakes winner here in September.
Lorton for Julie Camacho followed success at Newmarket at the back end of 2018 with a second at Wetherby in May.
Mick Channon’s Chynna has been racing in class one and two company this year after stepping up following a York win in July. Channon’s Berkshire stables is well represented over the two days with six entries.
There’s plenty of interest elsewhere on Friday’s card with Sir Michael Stoute’s entry London Eye in the Racing TV Handicap over 1m 3f. The three-year-old stayed on well to claim runner-up spot in a Goodwood handicap earlier in the month.
The 10-time Champion trainer’s 29% win record this term is imposing – but pales against his all-time percentage at Carlisle where he’s landed 11 winners in 22 starts. Challenge will likely come from Ticklish who won on debut at Lingfield last September for Mark Johnston, who took the honours last year with Lucky Deal.
Grey Mist’s five-race unbeaten run is on the line in another handicap, this time over 2m 1f. The winning habit follows a switch of trainers to Karen McLintock and includes two successes this year, including a comfortable May win at Ripon.
Both True Destiny for Roger Charlton and Micky Hammond’s Cornerstone Lad have come home for their trainers this year, at Nottingham and in a handicap hurdle at Newcastle respectively.
Rubenesque, So Near So Farhh and Wynford have all galloped past the winning post first at Carlisle.
Thursday evening starts with some well-supported maiden races before the feature events.
The Racing TV Handicap over 1m 3f could be a home vs away contest. Channon’s Hats Off To Larry was a winner last time out at Chester and will be well-fancied as will Cumbria-based Dianne Sayer’s The Navigator who will be shorter odds than the 50-1 when runner-up at the track’s opening flat meeting.
Sioux Frontier has two from four this year with wins at Hamilton and Musselburgh for Iain Jardine. Carluke trainer Keith Dalgleish, who saddled two winners at that opening meeting, has Corton Lad, a previous victor in May who can trace Carlisle success back to 2014.
In another Racing TV Handicap over 7f, Wild Hope for Kevin Ryan can make it a double after winning at the opening meeting when four lengths clear from Burke’s Barasti Dancer, who went on to win at Brighton and is also entered.
Blazing Dreams enjoyed double success for Ben Haslam at Newcastle last month and Global Gift ran on when second at Wetherby recently.
Tickets are £15 for adults (in advance) or £18 (on the day). Under-18s free entry when accompanied by an adult. Gates open Thursday at 3.40pm, first race is 5.05pm and last race 8.50pm.
Gates open Friday at 11.40am, first race 1.10pm and last race 5.20pm. Visit www.carlisle.thejockeyclub.co.uk for details on Fizz Friday T&Cs.