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Jul 18, 2016

Newton Abbot race report Sunday 17 July

The sun shone and the crowds came out in force for our Family Day this Sunday 17 July. A great start to the summer holidays for adults and children alike!

Nick Scholfield was the jockey in form on Sunday, taking the feature 80’s Gold Novices´ Chase on War Singer before doubling up with a well-timed ride on Miss Serious.

It was Gabrial The Great who took the field along in the feature race, tracked by Keltus, the choice from three entries by trainer Paul Nicholls. As with his run at the course last month, Gabrial The Great put in some indifferent jumps, but was warming to his task as the race went on. Keltus took over the lead at the fourth-last fence, but Gabrial The Great battled back to challenge at the penultimate jump. Then, just when it looked as if Keltus had gained the upper hand again, War Singer, trained by Johnny Farrelly, came with a storming run on the flat to get up in the final strides.

Scholfield had Miss Serious at the rear of the field in the Hospiscare Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles as Strumble Head and Tom O’Brien tried to stretch their rivals, jumping boldly out in front. Coming into the home straight they had seen off all the competition apart from Miss Serious, who changed gear going to the final fence to come readily away for a comfortable success.

Schoolboy Error and Invocation, second and third behind Jazzy at Stratford a week ago, headed the betting for the opening SIS Stream Juvenile Hurdle, ahead of Hygrove Percy, who had been backed from 6-1 to 9-2 in the morning, although easing in the on-course market. Last seen out on the Flat at Windsor at the end of May, Hygrove Percy and Tom Scudamore went to the front after the first flight and still held the advantage until being joined by Invocation on the turn for home. Locked together over the final two obstacles, it was Hygrove Percy who prevailed by a head in a photo finish, with Schoolboy Error six lengths back in third.

There was early drama in the At The Races Maiden Hurdle when Miss Mobot fell at the first flight and Avithos departed at the second, bringing down Buz Barton. Up front, it was outsider Uber Alles who was setting the pace and he stayed there until approaching the penultimate jump where Bagad Bihoue, a winner at the last meeting, cruised into the lead and strode away to win with plenty in hand. Disappointment of the race was As You Like, backed into favouritism to go one better than when runner-up on his debut at Ffos Las, but who was struggling from some way out, eventually finishing a well-beaten third.

There was a big line-up for the Handicap Hurdle, but the runners were soon well strung-out as Mr Lando built up a clear lead on the first circuit. The field gradually closed him down with Frozen Over taking over the running, only to be passed by What A Scorcher and Stynes. It was 20-1 shot Stynes who asserted between the final two flights and, although What A Scorcher renewed her challenge, William Featherstone kept his mount up to his work to score by half a length, with Frozen Over plugging under Page Fuller for third.

Jockey Harry Cobden came in for a lucky chance ride aboard Archie Rice in the SIS Trading Services Handicap Hurdle, replacing Bryony Frost. In a race where Decimus and Horsted Valley duelled for the lead, Archie Rice, owned by the Frost Racing Club, led at the penultimate flight to score by four lengths.

Mexican Border, who ran far too freely at Stratford last weekend, was well backed before racing to take the concluding IRL Novices´ Handicap Hurdle for Littlehempston trainer Martin Hill. Anchored in behind leader Crazy Train by Jeremiah McGrath, Mexican Border, who went off the 5-2 favourite, strolled into the lead on the home turn and, despite an untidy jump at the second-last flight, was too good for this rivals this time.

Our next super summer fixture is Monday 25 July, with the first race starting at 14.15 and gates opening at 12.15. Why not join us then for an afternoon of racing excitement and banish the Monday blues. Tickets can be purchased “here”: or on the gate on the day.