Epee Celeste proves value for money to win Cavendish Cup

BARGAIN buy Epee Celeste snapped up her second win at Cartmel this season when landing the totepool Mobile Text Tote to 89660 Handicap Chase for the Cavendish Cup on Saturday.

She has won more than £18,000 in prize money despite only costing owner Sue Richards £10,000.

Epee Celeste made all the running for a comfortable 23 lengths success.

Cork-born owner Richard Kent, who is now based in Shropshire where he breeds horses, was paying only his second ever visit to Cartmel, but he completed a double with his two runners, including taking the totepool.com Cartmel Cup with Royal Bonsai.

Trained at Malton by John Quinn, who had earlier instigated a double of his own when Luccombe Chine took the Hadwins Handicap Hurdle, Royal Bonsai got the better of market rival Porgy in the closing stages.

Kent had instigated his double with chasing debutant Seedless, who proved too strong for her two rivals Tito Bustillo and Mystified in the Miller Howe Beginners Chase.

Seedless is trained by Donald McCain and was ridden by Jason Maguire, who had earlier teamed up with Mulligan’s Man, long odds-on winner of the Willow Water EBF National Hunt Novices Hurdle, clinching the top trainer and jockey awards at Cartmel this season.

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In the closing EWGA Racing Excellence Hands And Heels Handicap Hurdle, amateur Robert Johnston had his first ever winner under Rules with an ice-cool performance on Irish raider First Morning, who jumped the last flight with only one horse behind him, but cruised past tired horses to win by four lengths.

First Morning is trained in County Derry by Noel Kelly, who was having his first winner at Cartmel.

Meanwhile Howard and Jean Johns, who produce the world-famous Cartmel sticky toffee pudding, won the award for Outstanding Achievement in the Success of Cartmel Races at the racecourse’s awards ceremony.

The prize was given at the second annual Steeplechase Dinner held at Holker Hall, home of the racecourse chairman Lord Cavendish.

The Johns supply a sticky toffee pudding for every winning owner, trainer and jockey during the Cartmel season.

Among the guests at the dinner were trainers Ferdy Murphy, Lucinda Russell, Brian Storey, Dianne Sayer, Harriet Graham and Lesley Whillans, representing her husband Alistair, while a special guest was Lesley Gillies, mother of jockey Campbell Gillies, who died in an accident earlier this year.

Following Thursday evening’s charity race meeting at Cartmel, the course presented a cheque to Lesley Gillies to go to the Injured Jockeys Fund and another to David Ashforth in support of the work he does for prostate cancer research.

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