Carlisle Racecourse

Carlisle Racecourse

In last month’s OCP magazine I looked at Kelso. This month I’m taking the short journey across the border to Carlisle racecourse.

As before in this series of articles on British racecourses, I will look briefly at the track’s location, history, configuration and will also highlight some significant track stats.

Carlisle racecourse hosts both flat and jumps racing but as we have reached October and the winter jumps season is almost upon us. The track stats will be for National Hunt racing only.

History and Location

The earliest record of racing taking place in the area is 1559, when Lady Dacre presented the historic Carlisle Bell to the winner.

Carlisle Racecourse is in the English County of Cumbria, lying just over 2 miles south of the town of Carlisle. Racing has been taking place on its present site since 1904.

In July 1929 the Totalisator Board (Tote) operated their pool betting system for the first time on a British racecourse at Carlisle.

Back in the 50s and the halcyon days of British horse racing, as a spectator sport, British Rail would run special race day trains from places like Liverpool to Carlisle.

For those coming to the races by car the Racecourse is very easily accessible being located just off the M6 (Junction 42).

Racegoers coming by public transport are also well served. Carlisle Station is on the West Coast Main Line, that runs from London Euston to Glasgow Central and the racecourse provides a bus service from the town centre which also picks up passengers opposite the railway station. The cost of the service at the time of writing is just £2.

The Colin Parker Memorial Chase, held late October/early November, is the highlight of the National Hunt season at Carlisle.

The 2m ½ f chase affair often attracts good horses. 

Previous winners of the race include the likes of Tidal Bay, Monet’s Garden and future Grand National Winner Many Clouds won the 2014 renewal on his seasonal debut before going onto win the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury.

Track Configuration

National Hunt racing takes place throughout the winter at Carlisle.

The course is 1m 5f in circumference and right-handed. The last half mile in the straight provides a steep incline.

View diagram of the Hurdle course

During the winter the going can become heavy which combined with the courses stiff uphill finish provides a real stamina test for both horse and jockey.

When the going is heavy you will often see jockeys bring their horses over to the stand side in search of better ground.

Most horsemen would consider Carlisle to be a fair and galloping track. The fences are not the most difficult to jump although novices can be caught out.

The first fence in the home straight (see link below) can be a tricky one as horses run downhill to it after the bend.

View diagram of the Chase course

Carlisle Stats: National Hunt

As ever let’s begin by looking at some general stats including favourite stats at the course since 2015.

The stats below are from Jan 1st, 2015 to the time of writing (10/09/19) and cover all jump meetings at the course.

Once again, I am using the ever useful www.horseracebase.com for the stats.

Let’s begin by looking at some general meeting stats from the last five years. Beginning with the fate of the favourites both clear and joint.

The results below contain 361 winners from 2916 runners 889 placed.

Favourites

Clear favourites have produced the following set of results:

  • 133 winners from 335 runners 37% -40.82 A/E 0.9 205 placed 61%.

Breaking those results down into handicap & non-handicap races gives us:

  • Non-handicap – 66 winners from 137 runners 48% -14.2 A/E 0.93 98 placed 72%.
  • Handicaps – 57 winners from 198 runners 295 -26.62 A/E 0.86 107 placed 54%.

Digging a bit deeper let’s focus on favourites that won their last race and those favourites who had finished outside the first three on their last start.

  • Favourites that won their last race have produced – 49 winners from 95 runners 52% +12.43 A/E 1.15 67 placed 71%.
  • Favourites that had finished outside the top four on their last start produced – 37 winners from 118 runners 31% -16.67 A/E 0.81 69 placed 58%.

Summary: Clear favourites who won last time out have an excellent win strike rate.

Trainers and Favourites

If you’re a favourite backer. Here are the best performing trainers when the money is down:

  • Stuart Crawford – 7 winners from 9 runners 78% +5.3 A/E 1.59 8 placed 89%.
  • Jennie Candlish – 3 winners from 5 runners 60% +5.01 A/E 1.66 4 placed 80%.
  • Nigel Hawke – 4 winners from 7 runners 57% +3 A/E 1.88 6 placed 86%.
  • Venetia Williams – 5 winners from 10 runners 50% +1.16 A/E 1.1 6 placed 60%.
  • Brian Ellison – 5 winners from 10 runners 50% -0.12 A/E 1.07 8 placed 80%.

Summary: Trainers whose clear favouritesare worth noting are Stuart Crawford, Nigel Hawke and Jennie Candlish.

Jockeys and Favourites

Which jockeys have done the business when the money is down for favourite backers?

  • Sam Twiston-Davies – 8 winners from 13 runners 62% +8.02 A/E 1.35 9 placed 69%.
  • Sean Quinlan – 6 winners from 10 runners 60% +8.59 A/E 1.73 8 placed 80%.
  • Ross Chapman – 3 winners from 4 runners 75% +3.82 A/E 1.79.
  • Ciaran Gethings – 2 winners from 2 runners 100% + 3.33 A/E 2.38.
  • Lucy Alexander – 2 winners from 2 runners 100% + 3.08 A/E 2.5.
  • Charlie Deutsch – 2 winners from 2 runners 100% + 2.38 A/E 1.68.

Summary: Jockey’s to note on clear favourites are Sam Twiston-Davies & Sean Quinlan

General Course Stats

  • Odds SP: 18/1 & above – 12 winners from 850 runners 1% -526 61 placed 7% A/E 0.54.

Summary: Big priced winners 18/1 and above do occasionally win at Carlisle but they are few and far between and it’s not really a winner finding pond you want to be fishing in.

  • Previous course winners provided 65 winners from 417 runners 16% -54.43 A/E 0.89 161 placed 39%.

Summary: Previous course winners are performing about average at Carlisle, so it isn’t really a course specialist’s track.

Trainer Stats and Angles

Here are a few interesting trainer track stats. That will hopefully enable you to identify some winners at Carlisle, throughout the rest of the 2019-20 National Hunt season.

1.         Trainers & Handicap Hurdle Runners (16/1 & under).

Stuart Crawford – 5 winners from 11 runners 45% +14.25 A/E 2.29 6 placed 55%.

Nigel Hawke – 4 winners from 9 runners 44% +10.88 A/E 2.47 A/E 6 placed 67%.

Nicky Richards – 8 winners from 23 runners 35% +37.5 A/E 1.97 11 placed 48%.

2.         Trainers & Handicap Chase Runners (16/1 & under).

Jennie Candlish – 7 winners from 19 runners 37% +18.13 A/E 2.39 11 placed 58%.

3.         Trainers & Race Class – Handicaps (16/1 & under).

Nicky Richards (Class 2) – 4 winners from 9 runners 44% +32.5 A/E 3.17 5 placed 56%.

Nigel Hawke (Class 4) – 4 winners from 10 runners 40% +9.88 A/E 2.2 8 placed 80%.

Phil Kirby (Class 3) – 3 winners from 10 runners 30% +8 A/E 1.35 4 placed 40%.

4.         Trainers & NHF Races – Racecourse Debutants (16/1 & under).

Stuart Crawford – 6 winners from 12 runners 50% +5.5 A/E 1.67 7 placed 58%.

Nicky Richards – 4 winners from 7 runners 57% +13.5 A/E 2.34 5 placed 73%.

Nigel Hawke – 2 winners from 4 runners 50% +1.75 A/E 1.34 3 placed 75%.

Summary: Plenty of interesting Carlisle trainer stats to digest there, albeit the sample sizes are small. The most interesting for me are the trainers in bumpers races at the track.

Carlisle Trainer Micro Angle

Finally, here’s a trainer micro angle for you:

Trainer: Stuart Crawford

Odds SP: 7/1 & under

Runs At Track: 0 or 1

13 winners from 26 runners 50% +19.88 A/E 1.62 16 placed 62%

System 83: Back Stuart Crawford runners, 7/1 & under that have had 0 to 1 runs at Carlisle.

Hopefully you enjoyed this brief look at Carlisle racecourse and some of the track’s key stats.

The next stop in this tour of British racecourses takes us to Haydock.

Until next time.

John Burke

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