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It's not been clicking in the past couple of days, and the unseating of Oodnadatta summed it up, when unshipping Shane Foley when leaving the stalls. Thankfully, it appears that most bookies refunded people who placed a bet on that horse.
Just a word. In rough times where you're finding it hard to back a winner, don't ever feel the need to chase losses, it's never the answer.
Cartmel is a tricky course, and it's often best to back horses who have course form, as for some reason not all horses take to it. However, three of the horses in the field have won at this track, and another finished a close second. LIFFEYDALE DREAMER has won at this track twice, and was running on strongly when she finished runner-up on the other occasion, where she finished in front of Ever So Much, who she opposes again today.
This 6yo mare, trained by Sam England, seems to relish this track, as her only two career wins have come at this venue. She seems a dour stayer, which is a big bonus, as this field does have question marks about their stamina over this trip of 3m 1f. She beat Aptly Put last time out, who finished third, by 7.5 lengths, and I find it hard to see a reverse in that form despite the fact he is 7lbs better off.
Ever So Much is a crafty horse, owned by JP McManus and trained by Ben Haslam, who both like to land a gamble. This horse is a prolific winner, and acts well at this track, but he did finish behind Lifeydale Dreamer when they met, and the selection was staying on strongly. Ever So Much probably won't enjoy this trip, as he is arguably better over 2m 4f – 6f, so this will be stretching his stamina, whereas Lifeydale Dreamer seems more at home at this trip. There is a 3lb swing in the weights between these, but it would be a surprise if that was to sway it in Ever So Much's favour. The highest mark he has ever won off is 104, which he races off today, and it seems a difficult task to do that at the age of 12, over a trip he's never raced over before.
As for the other horses, Catchmeifyoucan shoulders a big weight, and looks to be the main danger, but that horse was beaten by Sam England's Oksana, so she will know the level of that form. Ballyfarsoon will be a big surprise if he were to win, as he's shown very little, tackles a trip which probably won't suit, and the yard haven't had a winner over the jumps in 347 days.
Both Trainer & Jockey (Sam & Jonathan England) have good records at this track, operating at a 19.51% SR from 41 runners, with a further 8 being placed.
LERMOOS LEGEND could put it up to the Cartmel legend, Tonto's Spirit.
Peter Bowen's progressive 6yo landed the hat-trick last time out at Ffos Las, where all three of his wins have come at. That could be a concern, but I don't think the track is the reason for the progression, I'm fairly sure it's due to the ground. This horse has raced on ground with ‘good' in the description (over hurdles or fences) five times, he's won 3 of those, finished second on one occasion, and third on another. The third place you could probably say he needed the run, the time when he finished second was a good run, but got tired late on, and maybe got to the front too soon. He clearly has been appreciating summer racing, so the new course isn't a worry for me, the step up in grade is the biggest danger for him. He's raced in Class 5's for all of his wins, this is a big jump into Class 3 company, but for doing so, he gets in at the bottom of the weights, which should give him a huge chance.
Tonto's Spirit will attract market support, due to the good form he is in, but also because he is going for a record equaling seventh win at the track. He will put up a big fight, but the top weight might catch him out in the last furlong or so, when being taking on by the progressive Lermoos Legend, who should have more to come.
Peter Bowen loves sending runners to this track, and he has a good record when doing so. He's operated at a 23% SR in the last five years at Cartmel, which equals a profit of +26.84 to a level £1 stake.
DRESSEDFORSUCCESS has a weird profile compared to your average jumps horse, as it looks like he was never meant to be used under rules, and more of a PTP horse. James Latham owns this horse, and trained this horse until the last race, where he was transferred to James Moffatt. He won easily over this course and distance last time out, winning by 9 lengths. The time before that, he won over 2m 5f, at Cartmel, which was a good run, as that trip was probably not enough of a stamina test.
As I mentioned before, this horse was predominantly used as a PTP horse, where he was doing quite well, winning the occasional race and being placed in others, until they won the 2m 5f race at Cartmel, and James probably thought he has a decent horse on his hands here. He was given a mark of 103 for his handicap debut, at that point he was transferred to a proper trainer, James Moffatt, who sent him back to Cartmel, where he won easily. I get the feeling the switch to James' yard is a signal of intent that they think this horse could be much better than a PTP horse, and much better than a current mark of 113 (was raised 10lbs for recent win). This race has probably been in mind since being transferred to this yard, as James is a local trainer to Cartmel, and is one of the leading trainers at the course. Charlotte Jones take the ride, and takes off a very handy 5lbs. She is a cracking 5lb claimer, and for a claimer her strike rate is phenomenal. Over the last five years, she has been operating at a 18% SR, and this season she is operating at a 28% SR.
A horse to take note of is Dr Robin for Peter and Sean Bowen who won this race in its last renewal, so I'd expect a big run from that horse.