Thursday’s race of the day – Preview and tips for the sensational Beginners Chase at Carlisle

We take a look through the runners in what promises to be a fantastic beginner’s chase at Carlisle and provide readers with our tips on Thursday 24th October.

The Nicky Richards Handicap at Carlisle may provide the winner with the biggest first prize of the afternoon, but there’s no denying the race of the day is the Beginner’s Chase earlier in the card, as two Grade Two winning hurdlers and a Grade One runner up take their first tentative steps over fences. Our expert has taken a look at each of the five entrants and picked out which runner he will be backing.

Thursday’s Race Of The Day


Won just once in five starts over hurdles last season, but ran well in several high-profile races. Fell when seemingly mounting a winning challenge in the Sharps’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Stayed on for fourth in both the Challow and the Ballymore Hurdles and ended campaign with fine second behind Reserve Tank in Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

Always looked a chaser in the making and, although he proved two-and-a-half miles was his best trip, won comfortably over a sharp two miles on his first outings over hurdles. Won’t mind the extra cut in the ground either.

Global Citizen

Two-time Grade Two winner over hurdles, having followed victory in the 2018 Adonis Hurdle with an excellent triumph over Silver Streak in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock in February. Ended season with lengthy defeat in Champion Hurdle, but a track like Cheltenham was never going to suit and might have been over the top by then.

Reached the highest rating out of any of these over hurdles and two miles is certainly his optimum trip. Softening ground is a little bit of a worry though and seems to prefer flat tracks. Carlisle can be very testing when ground is soft.


Global Citizen may not enjoy the challenges posed by Carlisle on Thursday.


Good Boy Bobby

Enjoyed a low-key novice hurdling campaign compared to his rivals, winning three of his four starts over obstacles. Won by 44 lengths under a penalty a Southwell, before securing a seven-length success under a triple penalty on first start over two-and-a-half miles on final outing at Ffos Las.

A course-and-distance winner who will enjoy the extra cut in the ground. Has a bit to find in terms of hurdling rating, but could still mount a serious challenge.

Midnight Shadow

Former winner of the Scottish Champion Hurdle, who made a successful transition into a stayer over hurdles last season, beating Wholestone in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham. Three miles proved a little too far in the Cleeve Hurdle later that month, virtually pulling up after hitting the final flight.

Connections always felt he would be better as a chaser and boasts plenty of form over the minimum distance to suggest dropping back a mile in trip won’t be a problem at all. Trainer and jockey have good record around this track and soft ground form only bolsters his chances.

The Some Dance Kid

Finished 19 length behind Good Boy Bobby when they clashed here over hurdles. Went on to win next three outings over hurdles though, beating some decent horses in the process. Donald McCain and Brian Hughes are the duo to fear at Carlisle, but he’s found himself in at the deep end here.


I’m confident Global Citizen will reach a very high level over fences, but soft ground around a testing, undulating track doesn’t sound like his cup of tea. Brewin’Upastorm is feared, but I’m going to side with my second tracker horse in this race, MIDNIGHT SHADOW.

After winning the Relkeel at Cheltenham, Danny Cook said he was incredibly excited to attack fences with his favourite mount next season, never-mind a prospective tilt at the Stayers’ Hurdle or anything like that. Midnight Shadow has shown on a number of occasions that he has enough pace to cope with two miles and he’s produced some strong efforts on soft ground throughout his short career. I’m excited to see how he goes.