Sean Quinlan has been tipped as a potential winner of the Jockeys Challenge at Cartmel this year and he became the first big winner at the course in 2019 in the £20,000 Oakmere Homes Handicap Hurdle.

Riding 14/1 shot Cairnshill, the Irishman was first past the post in what was a very open contest where four of the six runners were still in contention going into the final lap of the class 2 race.

The eight-year-old seized control at the final hurdle, finally pulling away from Stop The World, ridden by AP Heskin, to give Newcastle trainer Kenny Johnson the winner.

Two and three-quarter lengths was the eventual margin of victory in a race that also included Champion Jockey Richard Johnson on Rolling Maul and Cheltenham winner Bryony Frost on Canyon City.

Quinlan said: "He's snuck in at the bottom of the handicap with ten stone and he's got a good gallop, but he'd run really well at Carlisle so I couldn't really see why he was on the outside of the field.

"I've always had a lot of faith in him and Kenny has done a done a good job with him from Ireland because he's progressed and progressed.

"Adrian Heskin's horse was probably the form horse, as he's had some good runs at Ayr and at Exeter and I always knew he was going to give us a nice lead into the race and it was just a matter of timing in picking from the back at the last."

Jockey Challenge holder Brian Hughes didn't take long to claim his first winner of the season at Cartmel, either, as he came home by three-and-a-half lengths in the Swan Hotel & Spa Mares' Handicap on French horse Graceland.

You do wonder just how far the winning margin had been if his ride had been cleaner on the hurdles, but Graceland got the final one spot on as she eventually pulled clear of Our Kylie, ridden by Abbie McCain.

Both horses are trained by Abbie's father Donald, who won last year's Trainers Challenge, so this was an early marker for him.

The race was also saw the first outing of one of Cartmel trainer James Moffatt's stable, while it also allowed Quinlan to get his eye in, as Mega Double came in fifth.

This was also the day where Frost rode her first winner at Cartmel, at the sixth attempt, as she was victorious in the Unsworth's Yard Brewery Handicap Chase on the Neil King-trained Sackett.

This brought one of the closest finishes of the day, but Frost, who became the first-ever female jockey to win a Grade One race at Cheltenham in March, held off the challenge of Becky Smith on Justforjames to win by a length.

Favourite Inchcolm, ridden by Harry Reed came in third.

The Butcher Said was the first winner of 2019 on the track as a strong run-in with Heskin allowed the six-year-old to ease away from Young Wolf, ridden by Johnson, in the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding Novices' Hurdle.

Evens favourite Tonto's Spirit (rider Conor O'Farrell) eased to victory by six lengths in the Alan Bolt Memorial Beginners' Chase.

Martin McIntyre rode The Kings Baby to glory in the County Refreshments Handicap Chase despite him tying up badly during the run-in.

Barrow jockey Charlotte Jones then came third on Moffatt-trained Boruma in the final race of the day, the Catering and Rowley Catering and Events Handicap Hurdle, which was won by Billy Garritty on Becky The Thatcher.

Moffatt, who had to pull Morning Royalty and Altruism out of their races due to the quickness of the track not suiting them, said: "I'm pleased with Boruma - the winner and second are both in great form, so he performed well.

"The filly I ran in the first race [Mega Double] is in season, so there's not a lot you can do about that as they don't run too well when they're in season."