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Racehorse trainer James Moffatt eyes success on home soil
RACEHORSE trainer James Moffatt is eyeing success on home soil as Cartmel Racecourse gets set to stage two meetings in the coming days, with £25,000 of prize money on offer in the Cumbria Crystal Hurdle.
Three horses trained at Moffatt’s Pitt Farm Racing Stables in Cartmel will compete during Saturday’s Totepool Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Day with a further two primed for action on Barbecue Monday.
Redpender will run in Saturday’s third race – the Derek Thomas Birthday Celebration Handicap Chase – with Smart Ruler going in the McGuinness Feeds Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle.
Maybe I Won’t will contest the Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Trophy, which is the most valuable race day of the year given the guaranteed level of winnings for the victor.
May’s Boy and Fantasy King complete his entry list on Monday, and with all horses running well at Cartmel back in May and in form generally, Moffatt is quietly confident.
“This job is about winners and nothing else,” he said. “It’s great when they run well but it’s ultimately about them getting their heads in front.
“We’re always hopeful and our horses are always trying. With all of them having previous course experience, we’re expecting them to do well.
“Cartmel is always very competitive and if they all come back safe and sound that’s the first thing, but after that we’re hoping they all do themselves justice like we know they can.
“They’re all in good form and we’re hopeful of nicking a few races but as the old adage goes you can take a horse to water but you can’t always make it drink.
“They’ve all had three weeks to a month out in the field and the paddocks enjoying themselves and are fresh, with the whole thing geared to this.
“I have left myself no margin for error and we’ve had a couple of encouraging runners on the flat this week so we’re looking to take that forward to Cartmel.”
Having worked with horses since childhood, Moffatt registered more than 150 wins as a jockey and has trained close to 100 National Hunt and Flat winners since 2003.
Despite tasting victory in a variety of locations across a star-studded career, Moffatt insists Cartmel features prominently when it comes to his favourite racing venues.
“I rode my first winner as a jockey at Cartmel in 1990 and I had my last ride there in 2003 so it is very special to me,” he added.
“I’ve lived at the racing stables in Cartmel for 30 years and although I’ve had winners at Cheltenham, Aintree, York and places like that, it remains very important to me.
“It’s the local meeting and we have local owners and employ local staff who live very close to the course so it means a lot.
“Holker Estates through Lord Cavendish have done an extremely good job over the last 20 years in raising the standard and bringing some really good, competitive racing to the meeting.
“This is highlighted by the £25,000 available in the Cumbria Crystal Hurdle on Saturday. It is becoming a very special meeting with good quality racing.”