Cartmel is a real front runners track so it generally pays to follow horses who like to take the race by the scruff of the neck. It is a very tight, sharp left-handed oval circuit and it is extremely difficult to make significant ground up from midfield or the rear.
Irish trainer John McConnell will send four runners across the Irish Sea to take their chance at Cartmel on Monday. All four have solid chances and with Sean Bowen booked for the rides, that can only be a positive.
The first McConnell runner will go in the opening novices’ hurdle, Bardenstown Lad. The six-year-old gelding won a Tipperary bumper by 15 lengths in March before finishing third in a Listowel bumper up in trip. He relished the step up to three miles when winning a maiden hurdle at Wexford last month and the drop back in trip will be no issue.
This handicap is quite a hot race and Play The Game will need to be at his very best to win. Placed in Listed company on the level, he won on chasing bow at Listowel last year and a repeat of his Kilbeggan run over hurdles when beaten a length by Wonder Laish this month would put him right in the mix but he can spit the dummy out. A career-best needed.
Fred The Foot won off a higher mark over hurdles at Musselburgh in 2020 and looks well handicapped now on his first run in handicap company over fences. He arrives here in good form off the back of a good win at Kilbeggan, a race where the form has been franked and he has obvious claims.
Last but not least, sporting the same Caroline Ahearn colours is Roi De Dubai. He bolted up in a maiden chase at Wexford earlier in the month but was not at his best going into handicap company at Bellewstown last week over hurdles. He needs a revival off a much higher mark back over fences but it is possible.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.