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Apr 19, 2016

Newton Abbot race report Monday 18 April 2016

Aso, who has been set some stiff tasks since winning at Market Rasen in January, was an impressive winner of the feature Happy 96th Birthday, Les Bickham Novices’ Chase at Newton Abbot on Monday.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls had bagged eight winners in the previous 48 hours and his Dormello Mo was made the 11-8 favourite to add to his three wins over the course. Tracking leader Fourth Act, he had every chance, but it was Aso who was travelling ominously well in behind and, once Aidan Coleman pressed the accelerator, he ran right away from his rivals for a ten-length success.

Executive Prince cut out the early running in the opening SIS Maiden Hurdle, but soon back-pedalled when tackled by Muffins For Tea. He, in turn, was passed by Meme’s Horse approaching the home straight and, despite hanging right between the last two flights, Noel Fehily’s mount ran on strongly to deny favourite Amanto.

Next up was the Handicap Chase over the minimum trip of two miles and, in the absence of Red Skipper, six faced the starter, with Val D’Arc heading the betting market. Having disputed the lead with Capilla to half-way, Val D’Arc dropped quickly away and it was Edlomond, making a swift reappearance after finishing third at Southwell on Friday evening, who took command on the home turn and held Pembroke House on the run to the line.

There was drama in the NewtonAbbotRace On Twitter Mares’ Handicap Hurdle when clear leader The Missus tried to run out on the bend passing the stands, but Sam Waley-Cohen got her back on an even keel and in front again.

She stayed at the head of the pack until being joined by Ayla’s Emperor at the penultimate flight and it was Robbie Dunne’s mount, having survived a blunder earlier in the race, who ran on the stronger to score by three lengths.

The trip was two miles and five furlongs for the St Austell Brewery Handicap Hurdle and course winner Kayf Willow, running in the colours of the Newton Abbot Racing Syndicate, was well supported. She ran a sound race, having every chance at the second-last flight before fading into fourth, as Carre Noir took up the running under Liam Heard to land a fourth win of the season for Littlehempston trainer Martin Hill.
Widow On The Run looked like landing the Attheraces Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race before being collared by Theatre Rouge, but neither could resist the challenge of 20-1 outsider Lady Markby, who swooped late under Daryl Jacob.
With market rival Coeur De Feu unseating his rider at the third fence, six-times point-to-point winner Steeltown ran out an easy winner of the closing Totnes And Bridgetown Novices’ Hunters’ Chase.

The next fixture at Newton Abbot Racecourse is the back-to-back special on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 May. The racecourse is offering a special deal to celebrate, with tickets to attend both fixtures available for just £25 when bought by 5:00pm one week before the fixture.

The back-to-back fixture will see an impressive £150,000 prize fund available across the two days. For more information, visit or call the racecourse office on 01626 353235.