It’s up to Carlisle for the key midweek races, and the Cumbrian course hosts the annual and historic Carlisle Bell meeting.
The focus points of the card are two valuable and well-competed handicaps, the Carlisle Bell and the Cumberland Plate.
The Plate is first up at 1500 BST over the 12f course. The Brian Ellison trained I Am Not Here has already attracted substantial support, but it is easy to see why. Well drawn and bound to improve from a season’s opener over an inadequate 1m, this horse was progressive throughout last season and may well still be on the improve.
The Ellison yard is often one to watch carefully when the money is down, and I Am Not Here is capable of defying top weight, aided by the useful 5lb claim of promising young jockey Ben Robinson.
The Carlisle Bell over 1m at 1530 looks a similarly competitive field. Course specialist and previous winner Silvery Moon looks well primed to run well here again. That said, Carnageo looks even more interesting for top northern trainer and jockey combination Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan.
He promises to be well suited by the stiff track, and first time blinkers suggests an attacking ride is on the cards for a horse proven over a longer trip. He is drawn well for an aggressive tactical ride and could prove very hard to pass off his low weight.
A Cumbrian double makes plenty of appeal.
I Am Not Here (1500 Carlisle), 1pt win, 5/1 Bet365
Carnageo (1530 Carlisle), 1pt win, 6/1 Betfred
I Am Not Here & Carnageo, 1pt win double, approx. 38/1.
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