The 71/2f handicap at Carlisle on Monday is sponsored by bookies.com and the winner should come from a trio of in-form runners.
This afternoon’s bookies.com sponsored 71/2f handicap at Carlisle (3.15pm) has drawn a field of nine and the trio to concentrate on are Rasselas, Echo Of Lightning and Mercers Row, all of whom have shown solid recent form.
Rasselas has been raised 6lb for his latest success at Newcastle, but this dual course winner is still not badly treated on a mark of 65 and his stable has been sending out plenty of winners. He’s a moody sort, though, who needs things to go his way and narrow preference is for ECHO OF LIGHTNING.
The five-year-old is arguably the most progressive of these and posted a career-best when winning over this trip at Beverley two starts back. He couldn’t follow up over a half furlong less at Musselburgh last time, but he found that trip a little too sharp and will relish today’s stiffer test of stamina. His trainer Brian Ellison had a double at York on Saturday.
Mercers Row went close to defying a 4lb rise for a previous win at Thirsk when runner-up over track and trip three weeks ago. He’s been nudged up another 2lb, but his rider Gemma Tutty’s 5lb claim more than takes care of that and he is feared most. Of the rest, Ishikawa has dropped to what looks a dangerous mark and it’s a matter of time before he takes advantage, although he finished well beaten (11th of 13) on his latest start at Haydock.
UPDATE – Echo Of Lightning has been declared a non-runner and Rasselas is the selection in his place.
The return to form of CHILWORTH ICON was predicted here at the start of this month and the well-handicapped five-year-old duly finished third at Ripon (advised each-way at 20/1), with a couple of necks depriving his backers of a bumper payout. Reappearing at Chester on Saturday, he again filled third spot under his regular pilot Paddy Pilley, who is excellent value for his 7lb claim, and the partnership can finally come good when turned out again quickly in this evening’s 6f at Windsor (7.20pm).
He looks to have a another well treated runner in Tamayuz Star to beat, but the selection, who is 2lb below his last winning mark, looks the one to be on in his current frame of mind. Souville may do best of the remainder.