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Apr 07, 2016

Newton Abbot race report Tuesday 5 April

Millicent Silver and claiming jockey Ryan Hatch put up the performance of the afternoon to snatch the feature Class 3 SIS Handicap Chase at Newton Abbot Racecourse on Tuesday.

After jumping twenty fences and galloping nearly three and a quarter miles, it took a photo finish to separate the grey Millicent Silver and Sunwild Life, who had looked the likely winner up the home straight. The camera confirmed that Millicent Silver, owned and bred by John Goodman, had got up right on the line to win by a neck, with outsider Rocky Bender back in third.

Bleu Et Noir hadn’t been seen out since falling at the fourth flight at Huntingdon in November and he took a keen hold in the opening Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal Novices´ Hurdle, leading the field at a good clip until being joined by Byron Flyer coming off the home turn. After both horses jumped the last flight together, it was Byron Flyer who found a bit extra on the run-in to land a 46th win of the season for jockey Will Kennedy.

Next up was the Attheraces “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle and, in the absence of Whispering Storm, there was a lopsided betting market with Verni, having his second run for Bilbrook trainer Philip Hobbs, going off the red-hot 3-10 favourite. He was always travelling well and, after being taken into the lead by Tom O’Brien at the penultimate flight, cruised to a seven length win to give owners Paul and Clare Rooney another victory after the success of Beeves at Warwick the day before.

Wellington trainer Alexandra Dunn is having her best season with 19 winners and her Winged Express was sent off the 11-4 favourite to beat his six rivals in the Attheraces In App Betting Handicap Hurdle. He ran well to be in contention at the last hurdle, but had no answer to the finishing kick of Wolftrap, who quickly asserted on the run-in to make it a double on the afternoon for the Hobbs/O’Brien combination.

Top-weight Cody Wyoming and Sam Twiston-Davies made all the running to take the Handicap Chase, surviving a blunder at the last fence to score by 20 lengths from Azert De Coeur with Daliance, who ran in snatches, staying on to be third.

Despite three absentees, there was still a good field of 12 runners for the Newton Abbot 150th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle over an extended three and a quarter miles and it went to 9-1 shot Mogestic, who proved the toughest in what became a real test of stamina with just four finishers.

Impact Area held off the challenge of Tony Star from the final fence to take the concluding Independent Racecourses Ltd, IRL Open Hunters´ Chase and send favourite backers home happy.