A Saturday racing fixture at Newton Abbot assures one thing; top quality National Hunt racing. A grand total of £100,000 prize money is on offer throughout the day with two Class 3 events and the feature Class 2 Handicap Hurdle worth £36,000. Saturday marks the first Autumn meeting at the Devon track, and this is highlighted by the return of some high class horses after their summer breaks. Newton Abbot has done a fantastic job this summer in attracting the best horses to come down South, and Saturday promises to be another action filled day at a fantastic racecourse.
14:15 – Novices’ Hurdle (Class 3)
We begin the day with a 2m Novices’ Hurdle where Colin Tizzard has interestingly entered the very talented Tempestatefloresco, who was last seen winning the Class 1 Summer Cup at Uttoxeter. Despite being rated 146 over fences, the Gelding is still a Novice Hurdler, winning his only start over timber back in June very comfortably. This seems to be a more of a warm-up exercise however, with the Kerry National at Listowel being confirmed as the target by the Dorset trainer – but don’t let that discourage his chances, as he is sure to go off hot favourite under the brilliant Harry Cobden. One horse that will be looking to go close is the join top weight (11-4) Bach De Clermont, in the recognisable colours of Mr & Mrs Rucker. The Irish point-to-point winner had disappointed in Hurdle races until getting off the mark at the 5th attempt in good style last time out in May. The Evan Williams trained Gelding will probably need the run after 109 days off the track, but can definitely put up a challenge to the favourite and should see off other rivals that include recent runner up Saxo Jack, who was only beaten 5 lengths by Mcgroarty who contests the Class 2 here.
Selection: Tempestatefloresco to Win @ 4/6
Forecast: Tempestatefloresco 1st, Bach De Clermont 2nd
14:50 – Handicap Chase (Class 4)
The first Chase of the day attracts another coming back from their summer break in Double Treasure. The Jamie Snowden trained 6 year old had been disappointing over fences until an easy victory when stepped up in trip, beating recent course winner The Geegeez Geegee by 19 lengths. The ground at Chepstow that day (Good) was similar to what we will have in Devon, and the 2m5f trip should suit. Beau Bay won a Novice Chase at Perth very nicely last month despite the favourite pulling up, and can build on that at a weight of 11-10 for this contest. Reunited with Sam Twiston-Davies once more, the Novice could be underestimated by the Handicapper on Handicap debut, which could be another example of Dr Newland being one of the shrewdest trainers around in placement of horses. Innocent Girl disappointed when going off firm favourite here in a Hurdle race, and despite being rated higher over fences, is one best watched with concerns over going up in trip and falling down the ratings.
Selection: Double Treasure to Win @ 4/1
15:25 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
The feature race of the day worth £36,000 will be contested over 2m5½f around the Devon track, and has attracted a wealth of entries from summer jumpers to seasonal reappearances from some classy horses. Top weight has been allocated to the 149 rated Henryville, who hasn’t been seen over timber since 5th in the 2015 Liverpool Hurdle at the Aintree Festival. The Harry Fry trained 9 year old will surely find 11-12 too much to deal with here, despite winning over course and distance back in May. Wait For Me will return to action after a summer break for Philip Hobbs, who finished 9th in the County Hurdle before winning a Class 2 at Sandown. The 2015 Champion Bumper 3rd is the standout performer here, but might be too high in the weights. The prolific Paul Nicholls has opted to send course and distance winner Trevisani for another spin under the excellent Bryony Frost, who together boast an 83% record when teaming up at Newton Abbot this season. Another to look out for is the unexposed (10-0) Stamp Your Feet, who won the Class 2 Two Mile Hurdle Series Final at Haydock in April before 5th to Bobabout at the Punchestown Festival. The step up in trip however is an unknown, and Tom George is likely to be finding out more about his charge. Team Skelton send out one of my personal favourites in Whatzdjazz at a very low weight of 10-7 despite taking a Class 2 Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen in July, however was held when last seen here at Newton Abbot. A lot more horses could be mentioned in a race filled with talent; however Cut The Corner and Ballinure look thrown in on higher chase marks.
Selection 1: Whatzdjazz Each/Way @ 6/1
Selection 2: Stamp Your Feet Each/Way @ 8/1
Selection 3: Trevisani Each/Way @ 12/1
16:00 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 4)
Tamarillo Grove got up late to score us a big odds winner over the 2m1f course and distance, and goes in at a very handy 10-8 under James Best once more; however top weight Free Stone Hill really should be winning this contest. The Dan Skelton trained Gelding has been a beaten favourite in his last 3 starts, bumping into some good rivals who have taken advantage of mistakes during crucial parts of the race. Harry Skelton will need to put the race to bed before the last due to the nature of the extremely short run in if he is to be successful in giving weight away all round; however, this does seem to be a less competitive race than recent narrow defeats. Quadriller is another interesting entry, but might just be a Fontwell course specialist for Philip Hobbs.
Selection: Free Stone Hill to Win @ 13/8
16:35 – Handicap Chase (Class 3)
Daulys Anthem could make it a quick-fire double for Team Skelton in this 2m Handicap Chase, after hosing up by 26 and 15 lengths in two successive days at the beginning of August. Although stepping up in class here, the Dan Skelton trained point-to-point recruit has large scope for improvement despite the 17lbs rise, and can win again running off 11-7 for Harry Skelton. Another with a great chance is Dr Newland’s Theo, who won here at Newton Abbot over Hurdles in July before winning on Chase debut at Stratford. The Novice comes into this race at a fair 11-9, but will have to improve under Sam Twiston-Davies, being thrown straight into Handicap Company.
Selection 1: Daulys Anthem to Win @ 1/1
Forecast: Daulys Anthem 1st, Theo 2nd
17:10 – Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 5)
By far the weakest race on a great card could go the way of the low weight Culm Counsellor, who comes into the race as a course and distance winner after scoring on Ladies Night. Ciaran Gethings (3lbs claim) takes the ride once again for Chris Down. Another to mention is Bogoss Du Perret, who was 2nd over shorter when last seen here at the Devon track.
Selection: Culm Counsellor to Win @ 2/1
17:40 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 5)
The final race of the day is a tricky 2m5½f Handicap Hurdle, mainly made up of regular visitors to the South West racecourse. Starlit Night is one of those, in what looks like to be a battle between female jockey stars Paige Fuller and Bryony Frost. The Chris Down trained Mare stuck to the task brilliantly for Paige when last seen winning an event over slightly further at Stratford, and comes into this one at 10-7 with a 5lbs claim. Bryony takes the ride of her fathers Gelding Findusatgorcombe, who is dropping in class after also winning gamely when last seen at Fontwell. The Jimmy Frost 5 year old will run off 10-12 here, also getting a 5lbs claim. On Alberts Head is another worth a mention, coming a close 2nd to Prince Khurram who has since franked the form. It was his debut for Neil Mulholland that day, and the excellent Noel Fehily takes the ride once more, which gives any horse a chance.
Selection 1: Findusatgorcombe to Win @ 9/2
Selection 2: Starlit Night Each/Way @ 8/1
I hope I’ve helped you to pick out some winners on the card, and that everyone enjoys a profitable day in the Devonshire sunshine! Remember to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates throughout the day, including photos of our selections in the parade ring. I will also be tweeting Tips from the Irish National Hunt meeting at Wexford.
Best of Luck!🏇
– Jake Price