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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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GRAND National winning pairing Donald McCain Jnr and Jason Maguire will team up again to go for glory at Cartmel tonight.

Irishman Maguire rode Ballabriggs to glory at Aintree last month to the delight of trainer McCain, who followed in the footsteps of dad Ginger in saddling the winner in Liverpool.

McCain Snr trained Red Rum to three Aintree triumphs in the 1970s and followed up with Amberleigh House in 2004 and was there to watch his son emerge victorious this time round.

He was also at Cartmel last year when Donald Jnr saddled two winners on the opening day of the May Festival, something he aims to repeat or better on Evening Mail Race Night.

McCain has four runners across tonight’s meeting, with Maguire saddling all of the quartet.

The best shot at glory could be Dunowen Point, the 9/4 antepost favourite for the 8.45pm Marlborough Fund Managers Maiden Hurdle.

That will be McCain’s last runner, with Oumeyade going in the 6.35pm Roofing Consultants Ltd Selling Hurdle, Macdougal in the 7.40pm Louis Roederer Intermediate Handicap Chase and Al Qeddaaf in the 8.15pm Hargreave Hale Novices’ Chase – won last year by Graham Lee on McCain’s Thumbs Up.

Lee, who is going for a third successive Cartmel Jockey’s Challenge crown – awarded to the best jockey at the South Lakes track over the course of their year’s meetings – has four runners tonight.

He rides long shot The Dagda in the opener, followed by Dunaskin in the second and another outsider, Glacial rambler in the fourth.

Lee rounds off his night with his best chance of victory on Takaatuf in the penultimate race, where he will go head-to-head with Maguire and Dunowen Point in what promises to be a close encounter.

Neither Lee nor McCain has a runner in the night’s main race – the 7.05pm Furness Building Society Handicap, where French Ties, under Sam Thomas, is expected to go off as favourite.

Cartmel trainer James Moffatt has only one runner tonight, but has a handful declared on Monday and more expected for the third day of the meeting on Wednesday.

Itstooearly will race tonight – in the Kendal Caravans Handicap Hurdle – and has also been entered provisionally for Monday and Wednesday.

He finished second at Sedgefield over the same distance he will race this evening – 2m 1f – earlier this month, though his last race, over 2m 4f at Aintree saw him trail home in eighth.

Blazing Bay is expected to run for Moffatt on Monday in the 5.05pm Wicks Waste Management Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.

The six-year-old’s best finish of 2011 came when coming home third at Musselburgh in February on soft ground, with the horse likely to prefer similar conditions this time round as well.

Itstooearly, Spirit of a Nation, Blazing Bay and Border Tale are all among the initial declarations for Wednesday afternoon’s meeting.

Spirit Of A Nation had been declared for the sixth race tonight, but he instead raced at Ayr on Thursday, where he finished fourth.

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