We win the world's oldest sporting trophy for the second time in 3 years!
The Carlisle Bell is a historic race, first contested in 1599. The race's name relates to the bells which were awarded to the winners of the race in the reign of Elizabeth I. There are two bells: The larger one, 2 1/2 inches in diameter, was donated by Lady Dacre in 1559 and bears the inscription:
The sweftes horse thes bel to tak for mi lade Daker sake (The swiftest horse this bell to take for my lady Dacre's sake). The second, smaller bell is inscribed 1599 H.B.M.C which is believed to stand for "Henry Baines, Mayor of Carlisle".
In 2016, our Keith Dalgleish trained EDGAR BALTHAZAR won the race in a course record time of 1:37.02. Now that was thrilling enough, but yesterday our David O'Meara trained WAARIF also won it and broke Edgar's record! He clocked 1:35.84 under a simply super ride by Conor McGovern.
It looked like the long time leader was not for catching, but 1 furlong out, Conor got Waarif responding to his urges and they closed down the gap, at 1/2 furlong out we were all screaming "COME ON!!" and stride after stride he closed and got to the front in time, to win by 3/4 of a length. This is apprentice jockey Conor's second win and his first on English turf, so what a way to do it. Watch the replay here: http://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/video/20180627/2792086/16672220
We purchased Waarif from the Tattersalls H-I-T sale and he has been knocking on the door in his 12 starts in our colours, being in the winners enclosure 8 times, so yesterday was well deserved for him and his owners. Well done everyone and many thanks to David and Conor.
The historic bells are held at the Carlisle Guildhall Museum and were on display yesterday. See them and our happy owners in this story: http://carlisle.thejockeyclub.co.uk/more-information/news/conor-mcgovern-and-waarif-win-historic-carlisle-bell
We can report that Waarif is fine this morning. We’ll see what the handicapper does on Tuesday but we’ll have a crack at the Thirsk Summer Cup with him next It’s exactly the same prize fund as yesterday's race, but is open to horses rated 0-90. Like the Carlisle Bell, it’s a race we like to target and we’ve had the 2nd (Hard To Handel) and 4th (Obsidian) in the last 3 runnings. (We didn’t have a runner in it last year).
We also saw a great run by MISS BAR BEACH in the Listed Eternal Stakes for Keith Dalgleish. She finished 3rd, but just 1 length from the winner. This is her second piece of 'black type', which is just wonderful for a filly we bought for just €9,000! Timeform rated the run as a career best 98 so it looks like she’s retained her ability as a 3yo. We’ll start looking at Listed and Group 3 races in the UK and around Europe for her next.