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First prize for My Old Gold at Carlisle

My Old Gold claimed a valuable black-type success in the Houghton Mares’ Chase at Carlisle.

The Nicky Richards-trained mare, who beat this weekend’s Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap at Doncaster nearly a year ago, was lining up after disappointing on her first run of the campaign at Market Rasen.

Henry Daly’s Chilli Filli, winner of the Market Rasen race, re-opposed – but the market was headed by Kerry Lee’s Happy Diva, who could finish only third.

Happy Diva had fallen last time out when still in contention in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, attempting to win it for a second year in succession, and she had 6lb and upwards in hand on all her rivals on official ratings.

Richard Patrick set out to make all on the odds-on favourite, but champion jockey Brian Hughes could be noted travelling strongly on My Old Gold.

Having hit the front, My Old Gold (4-1) appeared to have everything under control – and although Chilli Filli arrived on the scene to challenge after the last, the winner was always doing enough.

Hughes told Racing TV: “We thought the ground would have been a lot slower than it was at Market Rasen – but it had dried up, and she’s more at ease on this (soft) surface.

“She’s a versatile mare and she’s twice a Listed winner now. She beat the Hennessy (Ladbrokes Trophy) winner at Doncaster last year, and she’s got solid form all the way through.

“She’s 10 now but was a late starter, and she doesn’t ride like a 10-year-old.

“Nicky will find the right race – she’s versatile and can get three miles. She’ll make a grand broodmare, but I wouldn’t mind a few more days out of her yet.”