Morrissey from The Smiths may well have sung about panic being on the streets of Carlisle followed by Dublin,Dundee and Humberside but the bookmakers who decided to ply their trade at Carlisle racecourse today were definitely panicking when the the third Nigel Twiston-Davies trained winner of the afternoon went in to give him and his son Sam, three winners in a row as the popular course near the Durdar are of the city flung its gates open in beautiful autumnal weather to kick off the 2018-19 jumps season.
Two of those three came on both divisions of the 2m1f Novice Hurdle, first up the very useful bumper horse Good Boy Bobby took division one and won with plenty in hand than the two lengths would suggest, he will shape up even more when upped in trip and is one for future reference, this was quickly followed up in the second division with Al Dancer waltzing to victory as he put in a very good performance beating a very good sort in Windsor Avenue trained by Brian Ellison.
Al Dancer looked like an easier course would suit but going around the stiff undulations of Carlisle will certainly have made him learn plenty about jumping.
Before taking these two races the stable scored in a decent quality Novice Handicap Chase over 2m which had plenty of nice looking types in it and it was Luckofthedraw who sat back from off the pace to land the spoils to kick start the three timer, this 5yo like most of the field was a bit novicey but he will make a nice chaser and looked very much as if further will suit him as the season goes on and should hold his own against better company.
The finish of the afternoon came in the longest race of the day, a 3m Chase which also acted as a qualifier for the Challenger Staying Chase final and champion jockey Richard Johnston showed the hunger was still as strong as ever as he delivered a power packed finish on the Tim Vaughan trained Looksnowtlikebrian to come from another county to land the contest, fresh from his summer break he shapes every inch like a stayer and this 7yo could be aimed at a satellite national before too long.
Ruth Jefferson unveiled a nice type in the concluding bumper as the mare Mega Yates romped home on debut with some style, costing £60,000 this Irish point winner should have a good future when switched back to obstacles.
Fine weather and some decent early season types all made for a splendid afternoon for those who made the trek far and wide up to Carlisle then, chucked in with the added bonus of the Lamb National albeit no bookies prices up on that race meant that the crowd got plenty of excitement on the day.
Next up on here will definitely be the two Charlie Hall Chase festival with a comprehensive review of both days in two weeks time.
Till then Goodbye.