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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Cartmel Races

CARTMEL Races entered new territory as crowds flocked to the first-ever Saturday meet outside a Bank Holiday weekend.

The occasion was the most financially lucrative in Cartmel history, with £80,000 in prize money up for grabs – almost double the highest amount ever at stake at the Holker Estate-owned ground.

The blue ribbon race, the inaugural 5.25pm totepool.com Cumbria Crystal Hurdle, was won by Ireland’s What a Steel, ridden home over two miles and six furlongs by Ewan Whillans.

To the victor went the spoils of a Cartmel-record £28,000 and the crystal trophy crafted by Ulverston-based Cumbria Crystal.

The additional weekend has increased Cartmel’s annual programme to a highest-ever eight meetings in one year.

Bruce Lodge, who ensured the clean getaway of the horses at the start-line, said the racecourse is going from strength-to-strength under managing director Jonathan Garratt. He added: “It’s been a lovely day because the weather has been nice and the crowd is happy.”

Midlands-based bookmaker Bob Hughes, who has been calling the odds at Cartmel for around 15 years, said: “It’s got a totally different atmosphere to any other. It’s more relaxed and chilled out and it’s family-orientated, which isn’t always the case.

“It’s a nice crowd – very polite and everyone has got a smile on their face.”

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