The Lake District provides a beautiful backdrop for Cartmel Racecourse, an idyllic little national hunt track that has been hosting its Whit Holiday Races since 1856. The meeting is now a three-day fixture that starts on Saturday and takes in Bank Holiday Monday. It concludes on Wednesday (May 29), but this year it has made its traditional Wednesday finish an evening meeting for the first time.
Check out our trends, analysis, and free tips for the 2019 Cartmel Whit Holiday Meeting Wednesday evening fixture.
William Hill Handicap Hurdle (5.40)
Cartmel’s Wednesday evening fixture kicks off with a handicap hurdle over 2 miles and 6 furlongs. Local trainer James Moffatt looks to hold a strong hand with Lough Kent and Boruma both potentially well-handicapped.
Lough Kent won off a mark of 102 last time and a mark of 106 here is still 10lb below his previous winning mark. However, most of his wins have come over shorter distances and any further softening of the ground may reduce his chances.
Boruma could be better suited to conditions, having won this race in 2017 on good-to-soft ground off a mark of 110 and he followed that win up with another the following month off 117. He’s struggled of that sort of mark since, but his third last time suggested his turn might not be faraway and he’s weighted to go well off a mark of 106 under Brian Hughes.
Hadwins Motor Group Mares’ Selling Handicap Hurdle (6.10)
Russian Royale is no world beater, but her trainer looks to have trained her with this race in mind having been second in it last year. She returns in what looks a weak affair off her last winning mark, which she has defied on more than one occasion.
Holker Holiday Parks Handicap Chase (6.45)
Ringaringarosie looks to be improving at the age of six judged on her last three visits to Sedgefield, and Cartmel could suit this prominent racer. She’s up a few pounds in the weights for winning her last run but she again has a nice low-weight and her 7lb claiming jockey has finished first and second on her from two rides. The Martin Todhunter stable has also already been on the mark at the Whit Holiday Races Cartmel meeting this week.
Heineken Novices’ Chase (7.20)
Aintree My Dream is the experienced chaser in the field and won a handicap off a mark of 132 two starts ago. However, that means he must carry a 6lb penalty back in novice company and he was rated inferior over hurdles to William Of Orange.
The doubt about William Of Orange is whether this ex-flat horse will take to fences at the age of eight, even if he is a course and distance winner over hurdles. That means it could be worth chancing Deyrann De Carjac, with Alan King unlikely to be sending the six-year-old up North unless he thought he had a decent chance.
Sir Cliff Richard At Cartmel Racecourse Open Hunters’ Chase (7.50)
This race is a bit of self-advertising for Cartmel, who are hosting a post-racing Cliff Richard concert on Friday 28 June. The ageing superman of pop would probably tip up Man Of Steel, but he’ll do well to master Carter McKay. He ran in races behind the likes of A Plus Tard and Duc De Genievres in novice chases this season and he’ll take an awful lot of beating here if in anywhere near as good a form as he was in when bolting up at Sedgefield on his hunter chase debut.
Localiq Handicap Hurdle (8.25)
Porto Du Sud is a speculative punt. He looked sure to have a future in handicaps when running okay in three fair novice hurdles, but he couldn’t take advantage of marks of between 103 and 108 last year. However, on his third start after wind surgery, he now finds himself on a mark of 93. Connections have twice run him over further since his wind surgery and, having looked a non-stayer, they reach for a first-time visor as they drop him back to what could be his ideal trip. His small stable has been amongst the winners in May and have a 10% strike rate at Cartmel.
John Smiths Extra Smooth Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (8.55)
Punters may well drink a few pints of John Smith’s Extra Smooth bitter if they get lucky in the last race on the card. If they do, they may well have to zig zag across the course and Phil Kirby’s six-year-old Zig Zag could enjoy Cartmel after winning from the front at Wetherby earlier in the season, and he’s back down to that winning mark. The Kirby stable has also been among the winners this week.