Carlisle is the place to be tomorrow as the Cumbrian course stages its biggest raceday of the year, highlighted by two valuable handicaps, both of which could be within the grasp of Sheriff Hutton trainer Mick Easterby.

He saddles Top Dirham in the Carling Carlisle Bell. Dale Gibson's mount, winner of this race a couple of years ago, has good prospects.

The Easterby horses are in fine form and Top Dirham showed himself to be at the top of his game on his latest start. He came from virtually last to first over seven furlongs at Doncaster to win in decisive fashion.

The seven-year-old is equally at home over tomorrow's one-mile distance, but what is important to him is the pace of the race as he requires a strong gallop throughout to be seen at his best.

The handicapper has ensured since Doncaster that Top Dirham faces an even stiffer test this time, but this able performer looks sure to give Ryedale owner Steve Hull a good run.

Hull will also be represented in the Grolsch Cumberland Plate by Sporting Gesture, a winner at Doncaster two outings ago, and another ridden for Easterby by Gibson.

But Dance To My Tune, Easterby's other runner, may have the edge, following her recent win at Hamilton.

Given a great ride that day by Paul Mulrennan, the four-year-old squeezed through on the rails to get on top inside the final furlong.

Like Top Dirham, she requires a fast-run race to be at her best. The chances are that she'll get that tomorrow. Mulrennan, in the colours of York owner Pam Cockerill, again has the mount.

Malton trainer Richard Fahey, who was on the mark at Ripon last night with Richtee, can land the European Breeders' Fund Fillies' Handicap with Opening Ceremony.

The six-year-old has fared creditably in her two races this season and looks up to winning at this level. Paul Hanagan takes the mount.

At Salisbury, Rawdon is napped to lift the £14,000 HBLB Handicap over ten furlongs. John Gosden's decision to retain Rawdon in order to campaign him as a four-year-old has already paid dividends as the gelding won at Haydock last time.

He has the scope for further improvement and, with Jimmy Fortune in the saddle, he is strongly fancied to lift this prize.

Tommorow's selections


2.20 Chase The Ace, 2.50 Chronomatic, 3.20 Top Dirham, 3.50 Dance To My Tune, 4.20 Opening Ceremony, 4.50 Folga.


Selected races: 3.10 Bay Story, 3.40 Island Swing, 4.10 Bureaucrat, 4.40 Freeloader, 5.10 Rawdon (Nap).

Tomorrow's other race meetings are at Bath, Epsom and Worcester.

Updated: 10:21 Tuesday, June 21, 2005