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Jul 09, 2018

Newton Abbot Race Review Friday 6 July 2018

A determined Sword Of Fate made it two wins in three days when landing the feature Betfair #racingstaff Week Novices’ Handicap Chase at Newton Abbot on Friday for Herefordshire trainer Tom Lacey.

Ridden by stable amateur Tommie O’Brien, who notched up 20 wins in point-to-points last season, Sword Of Fate went straight into the lead as he had done at Stratford earlier in the week. A mistake at the ninth fence in front of the stands looked to shake his confidence a little, but he was back on an even keel as the runners turned down the back straight for the final time and kept up the gallop to see off the challenge of Capeland by three and a quarter lengths.

Ballydun Oscar, who made an encouraging start to his career under Rules when finishing runner-up to the useful Settie Hill over the course and distance last month, was a red-hot 4-9 favourite to go one better in the opening Betfair Supporting Racing Staff Week Maiden Hurdle.

His backers may have had a moment or two of anxiety as he hit a bit of a flat spot down the back straight on the final circuit, but he got there in the end, proving too strong for Hoover Fever.

Petrou, last seen out over hurdles a year ago when pulled up at Cartmel, topped the weights in the Class 3 Betfair Supporting Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle over three and a quarter miles for Dan and Harry Skelton, who have been blazing a trail since the season started two months ago.

Despite the stable’s 30% strike rate over the last two weeks, Petrou was only second-favourite behind Mr Mafia, who was seeking a four-timer for Cotswold trainer Martin Keighley. With three horses going to the final flight in a line, it was Mr Mafia who came away the best, finishing half a length in front of Western Sunrise, with Amron Kali a neck away in third.

The biggest field of the day lined up for the Betfair Thank You Racing Staff Selling Handicap Hurdle and Nick Scholfield set out to make the running on top-weight Beau Phil. They were joined by Millen Dollar Man going out onto the final circuit, but neither featured in the finish, however, as with the lead changing hands over the last two flights, it was 16-1 shot Petrify and champion conditional jockey James Bowen who came to nail Clearly Capable right on the line and win by a short head.

Bryony Frost was on the well-backed Billy My Boy in the following betfair #racingstaffweek@racingwelfare Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and, after leading for much of the race, his saddle slipped going to the penultimate flight, unseating the jockey. This left Barkis clear of favourite Tamarillo Grove and he ran on well to bring up a fourth career win for jockey Alan Doyle.

Strumble Head, winner of two hunter chases at the course this season, took the runners along in the Betfair & Racing Staff Make Racing Happen Handicap Chase, tracked by Charlie Mon. They were still in front as they went into the home turn, but going well in behind was Worcester winner Fifty Shades and he had too much speed for them over the final two obstacles.

The odds-on Full Bore eventually overcame Sid Hoodie in the concluding National Hunt Flat Race to bring up doubles on the day for jockey James Bowen and trainer Nicky Henderson.

The inaugural Betfair Racing Staff Week Cup, run over one and a half miles, went to 25-year-old Christina Berry, born near Ashburton, but now based at Chepstow with trainer Grace Harris, on Berry De Carjac.

Love And Be Loved was keen at the start and soon set up a clear lead, with Berry De Carjac tracking her and General Ginger coming out the pack to chase the leading pair. It was Berry De Carjac who went on inside the last furlong, going away to win by three and three-quarter lengths from General Ginger who stayed on to claim second place.

“When I woke up this morning, I was so nervous, that I didn’t want to do it” said Berry.

“But, I am glad that I did and would love to have another go.”

The next raceday at Newton Abbot is on Saturday 14 July, with gates opening at 12.20 and racing starting at 14.20. Tickets can be bought at our “online ticket store:“ until 10am on the day of the fixture and at the gates on the day.