Roger Fell believes that Global Spirit “fits the bill” for Wednesday’s Carlisle Bell Handicap (23rd June), as the trainer bids to hold on to the oldest sporting trophy still contested in world sport.
Fell won the most recent running of the race in 2019 with Rousayan and feels that he has every chance of striking again with Global Spirit who, like Rousayan did two years ago, will take his chance off an official rating of 82.
He said: “It should be quite interesting to see how he goes and it will be even better for him if there’s any rain.
“He fits the bill for this kind of race and it’s something that we’d like to win again, so fingers crossed we go well.”
Another previous winner of the race is Tim Easterby, who won the Carlisle Bell with Silvery Moon in 2013 and sends out Garden Oasis this year. The six year old showed plenty of determination to return to winning ways at Ayr last time out and his Easterby is confident he can make an impression from stall eight – which has produced two of the last three winners.
He said: “He’s drawn in stall eight, which is a good draw and he’s in good form at the moment. He ran a really good race here two starts ago so he should hopefully have a good chance.”
Wednesday’s seven-race card also includes the highly competitive Cumberland Plate Handicap over 1m 3f. Easterby has won two of the last three renewals of the race with Dance King (2017) and Aasheq (2018) and sends out two for tomorrow’s renewal.
Bollin Joan was a game winner of an apprentice race at York last time out, and Easterby said: “That was a great win at York and I’m looking forward to seeing her. She’s built a good partnership with Ella McCain (jockey) – who takes 5lbs off – and hopefully she can give another good account here.”
The trainer also sends out Sameem, who has slipped to a dangerous looking mark, and he said: “He’s a really nice horse and just wants a little bit of juice in the ground - any rain would help him.”
The 17-strong field includes five last time out winners and one of those is the James Evans-trained Croeso Cymraeg, who looked better than ever when winning at Leicester on his last start.
The seven year old is a general 15-2 chance in a wide open contest and his trainer feels there could be more to come from him yet. He said: “He’s in great form and he’s put in two really good runs this season. If anything he seems to be on the upgrade still.
“This is a big competitive field tomorrow and his usual hold-up tactics we have to trust to luck a little bit in-running, but if he gets a clear passage he should be there or thereabouts. He’s won over a mile and three at Goodwood which is similar really, so the trip shouldn’t be a problem.”
Another runner who scored on their most recent outing was Colony Queen, who made a winning debut for the John Mackie team at Beverley last month.
The trainer feels she can give another good account of herself here, despite a tough draw, and said: “She’s come out of Beverley really well, but she’s got a pretty awful draw in stall 17. She’s a lovely mare though and she tries hard.
“The trip and track will suit and if we can overcome that tricky draw she should hopefully run well. She won at Beverley a year ago today, so hopefully this is her time of year!”
Elsewhere on the card is the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes for three year old fillies over six furlongs. The eight-strong field features an Irish challenger in the form of the Ken Condon-trained Thunder Beauty.
Condon struck on his sole visit to Carlisle in this race back in 2017 with Elusive Beauty, who carried the same colours as this filly, and he is hopeful that the daughter of Night Of Thunder can build on a solid run in the Group Three Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh last time out.
He said: “She was disappointing in the 1000 Guineas, obviously, but she was much better at the Curragh last time out. We liked the way she finished off her race and I think it was definitely more encouraging - she’s been very good. Any rain forecast would be welcome and hopefully she will run another good race.
“We won this with the same owner (David Kelly) interestingly enough and while Elusive Beauty kind of worked her way up a bit more, this filly probably has a bit more talent. She had major questions to answer after her Guineas run, but the Curragh was a step in the right direction and hopefully she can run a good race.”
Also taking her chance is the Adrian Nicholls-trained Mamba Wamba, who has been holding her own at Pattern level so far this term, producing good performances at Haydock Park and Epsom Downs on her two most recent starts.
Nicholls is hopeful that she can give another good account of herself here and said: “She missed Ascot because she was in season but it looks a competitive race and she’s closely tied in on form with a few of these.
“She’ll go on any ground and I think the track will suit her, so I’m hopeful of a big run. She’s never really run a bad race, apart from the Nell Gwyn when she wasn’t right. It would be just lovely if she could get her head in front in one of those Listed races and I’m sure she will.”