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Sep 26, 2016

Newton Abbot race report Monday 26 September

There was a cracking start to the afternoon’s racing on Monday 26 September when Cheltenham Festival winner Next Sensation bounced back to form in the hands of Tom Scudamore to land Newton Abbot’s feature At The Races Sky 415 Handicap Chase in style.

Successful in the A.P. McCoy Grand Annual Chase at the 2015 Festival from a handicap mark of 143, Next Sensation has struggled to recapture that form in ten subsequent starts, but he has gradually slipped back down the weights and was running from a rating of only 129 here. Sent off the 7-4 favourite, he disputed the lead from the off with Owen Na View before gaining a clear advantage with three fences to go and seeing off all challengers to score by two lengths from Canicallyouback, with Walden Prince a neck away in third.

There was a shock in the opening Visit Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle when hot favourite, Ivor’s Queen, the sole ride of the day for champion jockey Richard Johnson, could only finish third behind 3 -1 shot Solstalla. As usual, Ivor’s Queen set a good pace, but Nico de Boinville kept her well in his sights and asked Solstalla to join the leader turning for home. She quickly went clear and, despite not being fluent at the penultimate flight, had just enough in hand to hold the late challenge of Cosette by a neck, with the favourite one and three-quarter lengths back in third.

Just three went to post for the South West Racing Club Novices´ Chase and it was chasing debutant Marracudja, trained by Paul Nicholls for the newly-formed Ditcheat Thoroughbreds, who attracted the pre-race attention. A winner of two hurdle races at Wincanton, Marracudja had been schooling well at home and was expected to make up into an exciting chasing prospect. But, in the betting ring, it was the experienced Ballybolley who attracted the money, going off the 8-13 favourite. His backers never looked like collecting, however, as Sam Twiston-Davies took Marracudja straight into the lead and, jumping impressively on his debut, he strolled home for an easy win in a time that, despite the rain-softened ground, was 1.5 seconds faster than the standard.

Nicholls was looking to double up in the following Bryan And Ilva Westcott Memorial Novices´ Hurdle with Rainy City, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. Having won three times, Rainy City was set to carry 18lb more than his two rivals and, although conditional jockey Stan Sheppard’s claim reduced the burden, in the end, the weight difference told. Having made the running to the home straight, Rainy City was joined by 4-7 favourite Templeross and, although there wasn’t much to choose them at the final jump, the market leader proved too strong in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies, riding for his father Nigel.

There were plenty in with a chance when the runners faced up to the second-last flight in the attheraces App Now Available Handicap Hurdle, but it was Ballinure and Jeremiah McGrath who emerged from the pack to hold off the challenge of Jonagold, who had been up with the pace throughout, and the strong-finishing Byron Blue.

The largest field of the day lined up for the concluding “Sharp Rise” Good Luck In America Selling Handicap Hurdle over an extended two and a quarter miles, with Taste The Wine heading an open betting market at 5-1. But, come the end, there was only one horse in it, as Bryony Frost sent the grey Aramadyh, trained at Buckfastleigh by her father Jimmy, clear of the field to win easily on her second start for the yard, beating Moulin Rouge and Taste The Wine. After some spirited bidding at the post-race auction, Aramadyh was bought back by connections for £4,400.

We still have two racedays left in October for you to enjoy, so make a date in your diary for our last 2-4-1 Friday on the 7 October and for Thursday 20 October. Tickets are also available direct from the racecourse office, by calling 01626 353235 or on the gates on the day – see you there!