Iain Jardine believes Jump The Gun has a “live chance” of becoming the latest horse to win the oldest trophy still presented in world sport by striking gold in the Stablemate By AGMA Carlisle Bell Handicap next Wednesday (June 23rd).
A total of 62 entries have been received for the historic contest, which takes place over a distance just short of a mile. First staged in 1599 the race is contested for a pair of bells that date back even earlier to 1559. Jump The Gun booked his ticket for a tilt at the Bell after opening his account for the year with a comfortable success under Andrew Mullen at Hamilton Park on Wednesday (June 16th).
Jardine, who is based just north of the border in Carrutherstown, said: “He won on Wednesday at Hamilton which should get him into the Bell under a penalty.
“He ran well over course and distance earlier in the season. He missed the break that day but he stayed on really well and was doing his best work at the end.
“The trip will suit him on the stiff track. He hosed in on Wednesday and hopefully he will have a live chance. After he ran at Carlisle the start before last, we thought we would try and nick one and get in so this has been the plan.
“He does have a slight preference just to get his toe in a bit. It was genuine good ground yesterday but if we get a few showers that will be fine.”
Stablemate Havana Party also holds an entry in the race, but Jardine expects the son of Havana Gold, who claimed a career first success also at Hamilton Park on Wednesday (June 16th), to end up contesting the Carlisle Bell Consolation Race instead.
He said: “He looked good when he won earlier this week. He is only a three year old and is a horse that seems to be improving but it is more likely he will get in the consolation race.
“The penny is slowly dropping with him but he was still very green, even though he won on Wednesday. He is entitled to a lot of improvement still. He doesn’t want it too quick and he let himself down well on the ground at Hamilton and came home really well. He loves a stiff track so Carlisle should suit him as well.”
Few horses in training are in better form than Tricorn at present, and the evergreen seven year old will bid to complete a five-timer in the Cumberland Plate Handicap, which has attracted 38 entries.
Appearing to require his first three runs for Jardine, the gelded son of Helmet, who finished third in the 2017 Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot when trained by John Gosden, has since racked up two victories at Ayr and one a piece at Hamilton and Thirsk.
His trainer said: “We got him when he was quite well handicapped but it took me a couple of runs to get his confidence back as he seemed a horse that had totally lost his way. I think we have found the key to him. He is a lovely horse to train but he is a bit edgy and we don’t over train him and that is the key.
“He is in fantastic form and it works out that he will get into the Plate with a penalty as it puts him bang on 85. He will be top weight but the form he is going there in it couldn’t be any better. Stepping him up in trip and taking on slightly lesser horses nowadays has helped but now that he is winning he is oozing confidence.”
Jardine is also likely to be represented in the extended 1m 3f prize by Pearl Warrior, who will be bidding to leave a disappointing run at York last time out behind him.
He said: “We have had this race in mind for him as he had some great form in Ireland for Johnny Murtagh. We’ve only given him a couple of runs and he ran well first time out for us at Ayr.
“We went to York in what was a good race and it didn’t quite pan out for him. It took him no time at all to settle into the way we train as he is a very straightforward and genuine horse.”
A total of 14 entries have been received for the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Eternal Stakes including the unbeaten Cloudy Dawn from the yard of William Haggas, and the Ken Condon-trained Thunder Beauty, who contested the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on her return at Newmarket
Molly Dingwall, General Manager at Carlisle Racecourse, revealed that with racing still taking place under the Government’s current COVID-19 protocols, tickets for the popular fixture are sold out.
She said: “The whole team here at Carlisle Racecourse are looking forward to Bell and Plate day. It is one of our flagship days and is a race day we are so very proud of.
“We have completely sold out of Hospitality and General Admission tickets, which is testament to how much the racing public enjoy this day.
“It is wonderful to see so many great entries for the Stablemate by AGMA Carlisle Bell. We look forward to some great action on the track next Wednesday.”