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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Enthusiastic Carrigdhoun bids for repeat as Red Rum is remembered

Carrigdhoun: last year's winner has won on each of his last three visits to Carlisle
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3.15 Carlisle
Rhodes Media Windermere Handicap Chase | 3m½f | 4yo+ | RUK

Carlisle launches its jumps season by celebrating its relationship with the most famous chaser of all as the course stages a Red Rum-inspired raceday.

The Cumbria track often played host to Ginger McCain's legend and the Windermere Handicap Chase, sponsored this year by Rhodes Media, was won by 'Rummy' in each of the three seasons that ended in Grand National glory during the 1970s.

McCain's son Donald, who maintained family tradition when claiming a Grand National triumph with Ballabriggs in 2011, will be aiming for a poignant victory with Federici on a busy afternoon for the trainer, who is represented in all but one of the seven races on the card.

Last year's winner Carrigdhoun returns to his favourite track, having won on each of his last three visits.

'Daft as a brush'

The 12-year-old is trained locally by Maurice Barnes, a Grand National winner himself having ridden Rubstic in 1979, and his wife Anne said: "Carrigdhoun gets to a racecourse and he knows what to do. He doesn't get worked up but he's still excited.

"He's getting older but when he gets to the course he gets the adrenaline going. He's still as daft as a brush, you'd think he's about six out there!"

I Just Know, who makes his seasonal debut after showing plenty of promise over fences last term, is one of two runners for Sue Smith, who saddled Auroras Encore to win the Grand National.

"I Just Know came back from his summer break looking really well and hopefully he can progress a bit more," said the trainer. "He gets three miles but would probably prefer better ground." 

The 3m½f contest, which acts as a qualifier for the 2017-18 Challenger Series final, was resurrected by the course last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Red Rum's last triumph in Cumbria.

The track's general manager Geraldine McKay said: "Being based just down the road from us, Carrigdhoun was certainly a popular winner of the Windermere last year.

"We're delighted to see him back to defend this historic race as part of our second annual Red Rum Day which is shaping up to be a cracking start to our jumps season." 

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He's getting older but when he gets to the course he gets the adrenaline going
E.W. Terms
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