Seven races from Carlisle on Thursday, from 16:35pm to 19:35pm.

Five handicaps, of which one is a nursery, and a couple of novice stakes races. A reasonable spread of entries and cracking, competitive racing seems assured.

Ben Curtis, Franny Norton, Joe Fanning and the evergreen Graham Lee are among the jocks in action. Notable trainers chasing pots include Charlie Johnston, Roger Varian, Kevin Ryan, Richard Fahey and Karl Burke.

Carlisle Tips

  • 17:05 – Sergeant Mayer @ 5/2
  • 18:05 – Apiarist @ 2/1
  • 19:05 – Imperial Quarter @ 8/13

17:05 – Sergeant Mayer @ 5/2

A nursery handicap over a demanding 5f, for 2-yr-olds. Carlisle is a tough finishing test up that steep hill, so resolution and determination are absolute prerequisites.

In a similar contest off the same mark of 59 at Musselburgh Sergeant Mayer was beaten just 3/4 of a length, and suffered a somewhat troubled passage. It represented a career-best effort, and at this lowly level there might hopefully still be a little improvement to come.

He’s tried further than this (admittedly with little joy) so those punishing last yards might not seem quite as taxing as for some. Rowan Scott rides for Nigel Tinkler, and was on board for that cracking effort last time in Scotland.

18:05 – Apiarist @ 2/1

A fascinating little novice stakes where Richard Fahey’s Silent Move must shoulder 9st 11lb, given his win last time at Thirsk. Can he give 7lb to his four rivals? That’s the million-dollar question ..

I believe he’ll struggle to concede it to Kevin Ryan’s Apiarist at the very least, for this one ran a cracking 2nd in another division, same day, of essentially the same race!

That was over 7f, and we step up to a mile here. Silent Move is by sprinter Ardad, but did at least get the 7f very well. It was an easy win but the 2nd and 3rd placed horses haven’t subsequently advertised the form.

Apiarist is by miler Night Of Thunder, who won a Lockinge back in the day. Ran well on debut at York and the winner of that contest performed with credit in the Acomb a couple of weeks ago. This looks like a gilt-edged opportunity to me for Tom Eaves on the youngster, who’s been aboard also for those two career runs to date.

19:05 – Imperial Quarter @ 8/13

Roger Varian’s sole Carlisle raider. One racecourse appearance so far – a fillies stakes race at HQ, going down by just over 2l. The excellent Ben Curtis has been booked to do the steering.

Appleby, Haggas and Hannon horses finished ahead of her at Newmarket, and there should be plenty of scope for improvement here. The handy 5lb allowance against the colts will be a godsend too.

Has a fabulous, celebrated sire in Dubawi, and there’s Derby winner Authorized influencing the dam’s side. Two unraced Johnston colts make matters extra-interesting, but I’m very hopeful about this one. Bit skinny perhaps, but ideal acca material.

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