Dr Richard Newland is hopeful a rare visit to Carlisle will be worth the long round trip from his Worcestershire base for his two runners on tomorrow’s (Monday 22nd February) eight-bbrace card.
Newland has had just nine runners at Carlisle over the past five years, but those he does send tend to run well, with three of those winning in that time.
And he is hopeful of a good run from the six year old I’m So Busy, who is due to have his third run for the yard in the opener, the MansionBet's Watch And Bet Maiden Hurdle.
He said: “I’m So Busy goes for the maiden hurdle. Fakenham was too sharp for him last time, so we’re trying this and hopefully 2m 1f will suit him on this stiff track.
“I think he’s got every chance, but obviously it’s a competitive little heat. He’s training well and he’s been a little bit unlucky with abandonments of late, but he’s ready to run and we’ll see where we’re at with him.”
Newland also sends another recent recruit to the yard in Grimm Star, who runs in division one of the MansionBet Handicap Hurdle. The five year old was third on his debut for the yard at Hereford last month, and with that form working out well, his trainer is hopeful of a positive result.
He said: “Grimm Star is having his second run for us and is coming back in trip a bit. On this heavier ground the trip will hopefully work for him. The winner of his previous race has come out and won again since, so hopefully he’ll be competitive and arrives with every chance.
“I’d be hopeful that the ground will suit them both. They’re both by the same sire in Cokoriko, so we’ll see whether they go on that ground or not!”
One trainer who visits Carlisle on a much more regular basis is Nicky Richards, who will have three runners on the card. Richards can boast a hugely impressive strike rate of 25% at the track over the past five years and his chances include Lanty Slea, who runs in the MansionBet At Carlisle Novices' Hurdle.
The six year old made the perfect start to his career when winning a bumper over slightly shorter at Carlisle last month, and Richards is hopeful that his recruit will build on that here on his first start over hurdles.
He said: “The bumper he won there last year was probably only an average sort of bumper and he just scraped home, but touch wood he’ll run nicely.”
The eight race card is a competitive one, and includes the MansionBet's Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap Chase, which is part of the Challenger Staying Chase Series.
One of those declared to run is the Tom Lacey-trained Thomas Patrick. The nine year old has fallen a long way in the weights since winning at the 2018 Randox Grand National Festival, but will have the assistance of four-time champion jump jockey Richard Johnson.
Richards will be represented by Chapel Stile in that race and added: “He didn’t run too badly up at Musselburgh (on his first start of the season), and hopefully he’ll get a good clean run and won’t be too far away.”