It may be ‘Super Saturday’ on the Flat, but down in the South-West the summer jumping continues at Newton Abbot, with a valuable card worth nearly £80,000. The feature race of the day is the Class 2 Handicap Chase with Tempestatefloresco (rated 143) heading a field of seven. Elsewhere, exciting Novice Chaser The Unit (rated 140) will also have a spin around the Devon track. It promises to be another fantastic race-day, and the perfect excuse to avoid watching England play in the third place play-off (although screens will be showing the game)!
14:40 – Novices’ Chase (Class 3) 2m5f
We start the card with a Chase for Novices’ over about 2m5f, and Alan King sends his classy seven-year-old The Unit for another spin over the larger obstacles. This second season Novice finished behind Shantou Rock, Willoughby Court and Cyrname in three attempts in this sphere last season, including when finishing ahead of the now Grade 1 winner Diego Du Charmil here in October. Rated 140 over both Hurdles and Fences, The Unit won at Hexham last month beating Jacks Last Hope (139) by 5 lengths under today’s jockey Wayne Hutchinson. The Gelding traveled supremely well throughout the race before asserting after the last, and there doesn’t seem to be another horse of that caliber who can cause an upset today. Course winner Drinks Interval will try her hardest as usual on Chase debut for Colin Tizzard in receipt of 12lbs from the favourite, although is 3lbs out of the Handicap. Having said this, the six-year-old clearly enjoys the track and conditions will suit. If Tom Scudamore’s mount takes to the larger obstacles then she could be an interesting proposition going forward.
The Unit to Win (No Bet)
14:55 – Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4) 2m5½f
Nicky Henderson doesn’t have many runners during the Summer, but the Champion Trainer sends recent Fontwell winner Mill Green for what is seemingly a penalty kick in this Novice Hurdle. The six-year-old won a Novice event last month, and Nico de Boinville retains the ride for this easier looking task. Although penalised 6lbs for that victory, this is an average race and there should be no worries about recording back-to-back successes. Paul Nicholls sends Bubble O’Clock for his third start over hurdles, and he should improve to be the best of the rest under Sam Twiston-Davies.
Mill Green to Win (No Bet)
15:25 – Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m2f
The feature race of the day sees seven horses go to post, with the 142 rated Southfield Vic looking to record a fifth win over fences. This Paul Nicholls charge won very easily over course and distance last season from only a 2lbs lower mark, but may find this a tough task on his seasonal reappearance having been off the track for 259 days. Promising young rider Lorcan Williams takes off 7lbs, however the nine-year-old will need to be at his beast to win this. The inform team of Dan and Harry Skelton send Petrou back over the larger obstacles, having ran him over Hurdles here at the last meeting. Although only sixth that day, this Rio Gold Racing Club gelding is better over fences, and has strong claims if running to the same level as at Aintree on his penultimate start. Another course and distance winner in Mighty Leader returns to the South West for this valuable prize, having beaten Overland Flyer in a Beginners’ Chase here in May. The Fergal O’Brien Gelding seems to have finally found his way over Fences, winning last time out at Perth, and he will definitely be in the mix from a nice racing weight of 10-13 under Paddy Brennan. The horse that interests me however is top weight Tempestatefloresco, who comes into this after a run at Royal Ascot last month. This Colin Tizzard trained ten-year-old has been running over Hurdles recently, however is much better over fences as seen when winning the Listed Summer Cup last year. Having had that run on the Flat last month our selection will be fit for this contest, and should appreciate the return to fences over a longer trip. Conditions will suit and young amateur rider Benjamin Godfrey takes the ride with an extremely valuable 10lbs claim. Although Benjamin may be an inexperienced jockey, he finished second here last week for the Tizzard stable.
Bet: Tempestatefloresco Each/Way @ 10/1
16:00 – Ladies Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 3m2½f
Another field of seven head to post for this Handicap Hurdle restricted to Ladies Riders’, and trainer Peter Bowen looks to have a great chance of continuing his fine vein of form. Since winning two Novice Chases last year Handicap Chasing hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Court King, however a return to the smaller obstacles today can see him back in the winners enclosure. The seven-year-old was last seen running in a hurdles race over course and distance, when 4th in a Class 2 behind the likes of Mighty Leader and Solatentif. He will be able to run from a 5lbs lower mark than that today down in grade, and will take some stopping under top female Jockey Bridget Andrews. Elsewhere Lord Topper will try to make a race of it under regular rider Page Fuller, but he is yet to win in Handicap company. Another interesting entry is Rise Of An Empire, who runs for under one of my favourite current female Jockey’s in Aine O’Connor. The rising star of the National Hunt game takes off a valuable 7lbs from this Harry Fry charge who otherwise would’ve had to run from 12-3, and returns to Hurdles today after a few disappointing chase efforts. He will need to show some improvement to get the better of our selection today.
Bet: Court King to Win @ 7/2
16:35 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 4) 2m2½f
This may be a pretty weak Handicap Hurdle, but Bernard Llewellyn sends the hat-trick chasing Borak for this race over 2m2½f. The six-year-old looks an improving type that should go on to win this despite a 4lbs raise for his latest success. Jockey Robert Williams will take off 3lbs to counter this rise in the Handicap, and in a race that won’t take much winning, it could be a third win in a row for the lucky connections. Elsewhere if Chantecler can bounce back from a 7th place at Southwell last time out, he could go well with Harry Reed taking off 5lbs. Ruby Russet is another who looks to be going backward, but has claims on her form during the spring.
Bet: Borak to Win @ 9/2
17:05 – Handicap Chase (Class 4) 2m½f
The penultimate race of the day is a tricky Handicap, where Colin Tizzard runs the intriguing Top Chief after dual point-to-point successes. This ten-year-old makes his debut for the yard under Tom Scudamore, and certainly won’t mind dry conditions having won on firm ground last time out. Rated 91 under rules, there could’ve some juice in his mark but he will have to be at the top of his game to win in stronger company. In a race of stable debuts Kings Reste will make her first start for the Skelton’s, but will need to show improvement from her Amy Murphy form to win this. Course and distance winner Saffron Prince will have every chance after being dropped 1lb for a decent seasonal debut run at Southwell last month, where he just seemed to tire towards the latter stage of the race. Harry Stock will take the ride today with a valuable 5lbs claim, which should be enough to see this consistent David Bridgewater charge get his head in-front once again.
Bet: Saffron Prince to Win @ 7/1 NON-RUNNER
New Bet: Top Chief to Win @ 9/2
17:05 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 5) 2m5½f
It’s not often that my best bet of the day comes in a Class 5 Handicap Hurdle, however Slaying The Dragon ran a great race at this track last month behind Lady Longshot, and gets the vote to go one better today. Local trainer Martin Hill regularly sends his horses to Newton Abbot, and Jeremiah McGrath will take the ride aboard this 85 rated Gelding. With the aforementioned Lady Longshot now being rated 98, a 1¾ length defeat here over slightly shorter looks to leave our selection on great terms. With the way this five-year-old stayed on towards the end here over 2m2½f last time, the extra few furlongs can help break his maiden tag under National Hunt rules. The dangers lie with Sea Of Mystery of the Dan Skelton yard, who comes into this off the back of a good third behind Grams And Ounces at Ffos Las. Whilst this is a solid effort and the Skelton’s should never be dismissed, our selection receives 11lbs, which should be enough to see off any threat. Willyegolassiego is an interesting runner for the Neil Mulholland yard, but she may need the run having had a break since March.
Bet: Slaying The Dragon Each/Way @ 16/1
I hope I’ve helped you to pick out some winners for this valuable Newton Abbot card, and that everyone enjoys a profitable day! Remember to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates throughout the meeting, including photos of our selections in the parade ring. I will also be tweeting my selections from a busy day on the Flat, and the Jumps racing over at Limerick.
Good luck with your bets!🏇
– Jake Price