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Aug 10, 2016

150th Anniversary race report - Wednesday 10 August 2016

The crowds were out to enjoy the sun and the racing excitement at Newton Abbot Racecourse’s 150th anniversary fixture. The event proved a great success for all ages, with something for everyone, including free face painting for the children!

It was Classic-winning Flat trainer Michael Bell who took the honours in the racing, landing a double with Instant Karma and Taper Tantrum, the only two hurdlers in his Newmarket yard.

Mr Kit Cat and Phantom Prince had led out of the back straight in the afternoon’s feature SIS Horses In Running Handicap Hurdle and they were joined by Royal Irish Hussar and Instant Karma to make it four in a line going to the penultimate flight. A close finish looked in prospect, but Instant Karma, who had been a little reluctant at the start, found another gear to go away from his rivals, with Mr Kit Cat, making a pleasing handicap debut, and Phantom Prince filling the places.

There was plenty of market support for the Nick Williams trained Sky Lino in the opening Maiden Hurdle but, after being held up by Lizzie Kelly, he found little when asked to pick up the leaders, eventually finishing fourth. It was Excellent Team and Harry Skelton who had set the pace from the off, tracked by Taper Tantrum, who was making his hurdles’ debut. The two had the race to themselves from some way out and, when Richard Johnson pressed the button, Taper Tantrum quickly went clear, although a couple of untidy jumps enabled Excellent Team to reduce the gap to a length at the line.

Market leader Invocation, who had gone close on his previous visit to the course, set a steady pace in the Still Time 80´s Gold This Sunday Juvenile Hurdle, tracked by Recognition, the only previous winner in the field, who was conceding 6lb in weight to all his rivals. Asked to quicken off the home turn by Daryl Jacob, Invocation saw off the challenge of Recognition, but had no answer to the finishing kick of Nachi Falls, who joined him at the last flight and forged ahead on the short run-in.

The field was tightly bunched going out on the final circuit in the Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Hurdle, with any number in with a chance. David Noonan looked to have made a winning move when taking Agentleman to the front approaching the penultimate flight, but they were passed by Mount Vesuvius with one to jump and Paddy Brennan’s mount quickly asserted to go two lengths clear.

Favourite backers had no run for their money as Winning Ticket was held up, finding trouble in running, and was never in with a chance of reaching the leaders. Sherborne trainer Colin Tizzard saddled two in the day’s longest race, the150 Anniversary 1866-2016 Novices´ Chase over three and a quarter miles, and it was 11-1 shot Tempestatefloresco, a three-time winner in point-to-points, who came out on top, scoring by eight lengths on his debut under Rules. At one stage, it looked like Tizzard would have a 1-2 but, after making much of the running, stable companion Kingscourt Native was passed by top-weight Kilfinichen Bay in the home straight.

There was another exciting contest for the Actuate Marketing, Plymouth Handicap Chase, with four horses still in with a chance with just the last fence to jump. It was course winner Louis Phillipe who prevailed for Tiverton trainer Linda Blackford, running on strongly to beat Wyndcrest by a length. Johnson made it a first and last race double when bringing home the well-backed Canton Prince in the Shallowford Farm Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race to go six clear of Sam Twiston-Davies in the jockeys championship table.

Our next race is on Saturday 20 August: why not join us then for some more summer fun at the races. You can book your ticket here or call us on 01626 353235 or drop in to the racecourse office.