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First Flat meeting of 2015 for Carlisle racecourse

Carlisle races Credit: ITV News Border

Carlisle will host it's first flat race fixture of the year this afternoon, along with a family fun day.

This year's theme is a Princess and Pirate Party, with activities like a treasure hunt and sandcastle competition on offer for the children.

Gates open at 11.30am and the first race begins at 1.30pm. The final race of the day is at 4.55pm.

"What a fantastic way to start our new Flat season, by hosting a family fun day on bank holiday.

"It's been eight months since we last hosted a Flat meeting and it's great to return with a double-bill of top class racing action and fun for the kids."

– Geraldine McKay, General Manager, Carlisle Racecourse

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Race against time to see McCoy at Carlisle

AP McCoy in action at a previous meeting at Carlisle Credit: Carlisle Racecourse

AP McCoy will be in action at Carlisle Racecourse on Monday afternoon for what could be the last time in his career.

The former BBC Sports Personality of the Year announced earlier this month that this will be his last season before retiring, but he has not specified the date he will leave the sport.

McCoy, who has been champion for the last 19 years, has three rides at the city track's first fixture of 2015.

His career record of more than 4,000 wins includes 34 at Carlisle, and the Racecourse is hoping he will draw crowds.

"This is a rare - and possibly unique - chance to see the greatest ever jumps jockey in history in action again at our local track.

"It is also the first day of the school half-term holidays for many - and we hope lots of people can take the opportunity to come along and see one of the UK's greatest ever sporting champions close up in competitive action."

– Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse's general manager

Champion jockey at Carlisle Racecourse

Tony McCoy at The Guinness Galway Hurdle at the Galway Festival Credit: Pat Healy/PA

Large crowds are expected at Carlisle Racecourse today where one of the world's most successful jockeys is riding.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy will be riding in five races including on Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Holywell.

Tony McCoy in the bet 365 Hurdle Race during the Charlie Hall Chase day at Wetherby Racecourse. Credit: John Giles/PA

The day is the richest in the racecourse's calendar with prize money of £90,000.

Other jockeys racing today include Ryan Mania from Galashiels who won the Grand National in 2013.

Tony McCoy Credit: Nigel French/PA

Jump racing returns to Carlisle

It's been five months since the last jumps meeting in May Credit: ITV Border

Jump racing returns to Carlisle Racecourse today, after a five-month break.

Some of Britain's top jockeys are competing, including Jason Maguire, who won the Grand National in 2011.

67 horses will be running, and the first race is at 2:10pm, with the final race at 5:20pm.

Britain's leading female jockey to compete at Carlisle Racecourse

Hayley Turner (centre) with Sophie Doyle and Laura Pike Credit: Carlisle Racecourse

Britain's leading female jockey Hayley Turner is to compete for the first time at the world's only fixture exclusively for women riders.

Turner is booked for four rides at Carlisle Racecourse's Ultimate Ladies' Night fixture on Monday, 4 August, when every rider in all seven races will be a female jockey.

She will be competing against fellow professional and amateur riders to become the inaugural winner of the Durdar Trophy.

"It is great that I can make it up to Carlisle and Ultimate Ladies' Night this year. It is a unique event. I am looking forward to it - despite the journey up there from Newmarket!

"It is a fantastic meeting that showcases women jockeys’ talent and will encourage more women into racing. There are lots of girls at the moment that have got the ability and potential. It gives them all a chance. It is always nice to see the girls doing well.

– Hayley Turner
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