Cumbria Crack

Drama as UK’s top female jockey is beaten in most valuable ladies race of the year

French horse Decor Irelandais at the finishing post in the first race at Cartmel. Photo Milton Haworth

A BUMPER crowd enjoyed a day of sunshine and exhilarating racing as the July meeting got under way at Cartmel Racecourse.

The first day of the enduringly popular Barbecue Meeting saw the prestigious Cumbria Crystal Cup won in style by 5-1 shot Mr Clarkson.

And the £15,000 Banks Lyon Jewellers Lady Riders Handicap Hurdle Race, the most valuable race of its kind in Britain, was won by Beeno. Jockey Lilly Pinchin was presented with a £5,000 diamond and sapphire pendant necklace by the race sponsors.

Racing returns to Cartmel today (Monday) at 2.15pm. With forecasters predicting a dry afternoon and temperatures of 20 degrees, the racecourse team are expecting another busy day.

Interim racecourse manager, Jonathan Garratt, said: “Following a wet start to the day, the sun came out and it was fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves throughout the enclosures and the racecourse’s various hospitality suites.

“There were some exciting finishes and a really popular double for Penrith trainer Dianne Sayer. We are looking forward to another really competitive programme tomorrow.

“With schools now finished for the summer, we’re expecting to see lots of families enjoying a day out. The funfair will be in full swing and everybody is encouraged to bring a picnic or barbecue. It’s a really fun experience for everyone – no knowledge of horses or racing is necessary to enjoy a day out at Cartmel.”

Saturday’s race day was sponsored by 32West, Cartmel Racecourse’s PR and marketing partner.

Almost 13,000 people flooded through the gates of the south Cumbria attraction as it opened for the day.

James Higgins is a director of 32West. He said: “We were absolutely delighted to sponsor the first race day of the July meeting and had a wonderful time entertaining our guests in the Louis Roederer restaurant.

“I can think of no better place to spend a day with clients; the food was fantastic, the service exemplary and the setting was wonderful.”

There are three race days left in the Cartmel calendar; tomorrow and then two during the August Holiday Meeting, which spans the bank holiday weekend. They are on Saturday, August 24, and bank holiday Monday, August 26.

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