After around 18 months without it, Flat racing is well and truly back in the swing at Carlisle, which hosted its third meeting in 12 days on Friday afternoon.
Several horses caught the eye of our reporter Nick Seddon, who we sent up to Cumbria to speak to the winners on the day…
Burke has a Korking prospect
Karl Burke is no stranger to sending some of his nicer juveniles up to Carlisle, as we saw with El Caballo last Monday, and Korker certainly looked a good prospect when landing the Casumo Bet 10 Get 10 EBF Novice Stakes.
The two year old son of Dandy Man (4-7 favourite) still showed plenty of signs of greenness, but knuckled down well to seal a half a length success under Clifford Lee, which was his only ride of the day.
And Lee revealed after the race that he feels there could be more to come yet from Korker. He said: “He’s run a blinder. He’s still very green in himself, but he’s jumped and travelled a lot better this time as at York he missed the break by seven or eight lengths.
“I think he got very tired and a bit lonely in front on a stiffer track here today but he’ll come on a lot for that. He’s still a baby and that’s only his second run so I just kept it very simple on him. Karl hasn’t said anything yet but he’s probably got a few plans for him, he’s a nice horse.
“It’s hard work at times (being a jockey), but I’ll go anywhere to pick up the rides and the chances to get winners.”
McManoman has the Midas touch in Cumbria!
It certainly seems to pay to keep an eye on jockey Faye McManoman when she makes the journey up to Cumbria, as she has a fine record at Carlisle racecourse.
Indeed, she’d ridden seven winners from 23 runners over the past five years coming into this afternoon and she improved that when riding 11-1 chance Sharrabang to a game success in the Casumo Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.
It means that McManoman has had a winner on each of her last three visits to Carlisle – a record which stretches back to September 2019 – and she revealed after the race that she holds something of a soft spot for the course.
She said: “I took a nice easy lead and switched him left to get some fresher ground and to give him some space and he just doesn’t give up. He’s quite genuine so when he saw Afandem he always wanted to pass him – he has his bad days and good days but thankfully today was a good one!
“I love this track! I seem to ride it very confidently for some reason and I think that’s very important. It’s a lovely track and hopefully there’s many more to come.”
Composer hits the right note for Evans
The Worcestershire-based James Evans doesn’t come up to Carlisle too often, but the 400-mile round trip certainly paid dividends with Dream Composer, who provided him with his first ever winner at the track.
The three year old looked a potentially useful type when finishing a commendable second at Goodwood last week and with the son of Dream Ahead due to go up 3lbs for that effort, Evans looked to take advantage of his mark in the Download The Casumo App Today Handicap.
Dream Composer (3-1 favourite) rewarded that move by forging to a one and a quarter length success and Evans was thankful that everything had come together. He said: “We took him to Goodwood last week and he ran a blinder and obviously with him being re-handicapped we thought we’d give him a crack here on the stiff five furlongs. Thankfully he’s delivered and we’re delighted with him.
“I’d imagine after three quick-ish runs we won’t be in any hurry to turn him back out, we’ll bask in the glory of this for a week or two and then look for something for him I’d think.”
It also proved to be a first winner at Carlisle for jockey Ella McKenzie and she said: “I am absolutely delighted with him. He improved last week from a good run at Goodwood and they went very hard early on which helped my lad, as the further they went the better he went and I think there’s still improvement there. It was a worthwhile trip for me, I don’t mind coming up here for a winner!”
Headgear does the trick for Barron’s filly
The David Barron-trained Time Has Wings (4-1 favourite) seemed to turn a corner for the application of blinkers when a close second at Wolverhampton last month and that certainly proved to be the case here, as she grabbed a deserved first victory in division one of the Casumo Horse Racing And Sports Betting Handicap.
The daughter of Moohaajim was collared close home after making the running last time out and a change of tack proved the tonic for Connor Beasley, who stalked the pace before striking the front inside the final two furlongs and staying on well to the line to record a three and a half-length success.
And the winning jockey feels that there could be more to come from here yet now that she has got her head in front. He said: “We had a good gallop going on and she travelled up to it really well. She was a bit unlucky at Wolverhampton last time out but when she’s got her act together she’s done it nicely. She wasn’t doing an awful lot today when she got in front so hopefully there’s a bit more improvement left in the locker and she can go on from this.”
Fanning strikes with a big-priced double
Considering that he’s ridden more than 2,600 winners during his illustrious career, it isn’t too often that Joe Fanning heads to the racecourse on horses that are completely without a chance and two of his rides certainly belied their odds this afternoon.
Indeed, the Keith Dalgleish Cool Dandy took a notable step forward to win division two of the Casumo Horse Racing And Sports Betting Handicap in good style at a whopping 28-1 for Fanning, before Thai Terrier struck 35 minutes later in the Casumo Proud To Support British Racing Handicap at 16-1 for Mark Johnston.
It completed a whopping 492-1 double for Fanning and he was particularly impressed with his second winner Thai Terrier, who bounded clear to a five and a half-length success.
He said: “He travelled nicely all the way round and wasn’t doing a stroke really in front. At three out I felt I was never really in danger, I felt like I had plenty of horse underneath me and he’s picked up and galloped away. It’s a very nice surprise to have a double!”