Cartmel Racecourse Guide

A staple of bank holidays in the UK, Cartmel racecourse lies in the southernmost part of the Lake District in the sleepy village of Cartmel. The track itself hosts only nine fixtures per year including its’ Bank Holiday meetings but draws impressive crowds and it is the third most attended track in the country by number of racegoers which is no mean feat given its’ size.

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Cartmel Major Meetings

Cartmel doesn’t stage any notable fixtures or races during its’ racing calendar but it does host a competitive veterans’ chase during one of its’ Bank Holiday fixtures with the three miles six furlongs contest taking place on the second Bank Holiday Monday in May. The Cumbria Crystal Hurdle is another of the track’s feature races and takes place each July.

Cartmel Track Characteristics

Cartmel’s racecourse is left-handed and oval in shape with tight, sharp bends and the course is considered by jockeys to be very quick with a circuit of the track measuring little over one mile. There is a diagonal chute across the track connecting each of the course’s straights which is used as the home straight. The run to the winning post from the last obstacle is the longest in the country at half-a-mile with no obstacles to be jumped.

One circuit of Cartmel racecourse consists of six fences which are quite stiff for a course of Cartmel’s stature and given the months in which Cartmel hosts its’ fixtures the ground conditions are rarely testing. The course is mostly flat although does have some undulations in places and generally rides very quick and being on a horse that jumps and travels well is important here.

Cartmel Leading Trainers

Over the past five seasons Sam England and Peter Bowen have been the top trainers at Cartmel, each handler showing a profit from similar strike-rate although Bowen has had more runners at the track. Dianne Sayer and Donald McCain are also both worth noting at the track with solid strike-rate figures although each trainer does trade in the red. 

More recently in the current season Sam England maintains her presence in the Cartmel top trainers list but it is Ben Haslam who takes top spot with a strike-rate at the track in excess of 30% and a profit of almost 17 points at the time of writing. Donald McCain also continues to do well here and Gary Hanmer and James Moffatt both also saddle their share of winners respectively.

Cartmel Leading Jockeys

Charlotte Jones leads the Cartmel leading jockeys table when looking over the past five years with the rider boasting a strike-rate of almost 30% and returning a profit of almost ten points. Sean Bowen and Brian Hughes also land their fair share of winners at Cartmel with each rider scoring on more than 20% of their rides at the track. Sean Quinlan meanwhile has a more modest winning record than the other riders but does return the best profit figures.

More recently Jonathan England has amassed the best strike rate at the track in the current season although he trails Charlotte Jones in the profit stakes; Jones like England boasts a strike-rate in the high 30% while Kevin Brogan falls just under the 30% mark and has emerged in the past season as a rider to watch at Cartmel.

Cartmel Track History

Reported to have been a site for mule racing by bored monks racing at Cartmel dates back to the 1800s and started life as a flat racing venue although the course changed to National Hunt following the second world war. Growing steadily in popularity it wasn’t until the 1960s that Cartmel received a formal racing schedule.

The infamous Gay Future betting coup in 1974 saw Cartmel as the venue for an attempted heist on the course by an Irish betting syndicate who replaced a lesser able horse with the useful Irish-trained horse who duly romped home. Bookmakers called police who arrested the gang following an enquiry.

Cartmel Racecourse Address

The official racecourse address for Cartmel racecourse is:

Cartmel Racecourse
LA11 6QF

How To get to Cartmel Racecourse

Here’s how to get to Cartmel Racecourse if you’re planning a visit to the track.

By car: Despite its’ rural location Cartmel racecourse is relatively easy to reach and is only around 15 miles from the M6 Motorway. Temporary signs for the races are posted on racedays.

By train: The nearest railway station to the course is Cark-In-Cartmel and shuttle buses operate from the station on racedays. Alternatively the station at Grange-over-Sands also runs shuttle buses on racing days.

Travellers going by train will need to change at Lancaster in order to continue their journey to the track.