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Jul 12, 2016

Newton Abbot Race Review - Sunday 17 July 2016

As we continue the countdown to our 150th anniversary fixture next month (Wednesday 10 August), we’re expecting a big crowd for Family Day this Sunday, as we celebrate the start of the summer holidays with an exciting and competitive afternoon of racing. Bring along the whole family for a great day out – don’t forget children under 16 go free!

Gabrial The Great looks to have a good chance of following up his win last month in the feature 80’s Gold Novices´ Chase. Having his first run over fences for the David Pipe stable, Gabrial The Great was allowed to bowl along in front by his rivals that day and, despite one or two dodgy jumps, coasted home to an easy victory. It will be interesting to see what happens if anyone takes him on this time but, on all known form, he should be too good for the rest of the field. Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has selected Keltus, twice a winner at Hexham, from his three entries and although he should run well, has to concede weight to Gabrial The Great, which makes his task that much harder.

The action kicks off at 2.05pm with the SIS Stream Juvenile Hurdle over two miles and Invocation, a maiden on the Flat, but a promising third to Jazzy on his debut over jumps at Stratford last Sunday, could be the one to be on. Itsamysterytome was beaten 10 lengths by Milrow on her debut at Market Rasen, with Stone Quercus, who blundered at the last flight, a further one and three-quarter lengths back in third. They re-oppose here and it should be close between them again, although Itsamysterytome has since disappointed when finishing only fourth in the same Stratford contest as Invocation.

Nicholls runs Bagad Bihoue from his two entries in the At The Races Maiden Hurdle and he will be looking to follow up his win when favourite in a National Hunt Flat Race at the last meeting. He had looked set for an easy victory, but his margin over 66-1 outsider Pokari was diminishing rapidly as the winning post came near and that may be as good as he gets. A better bet might be As You Like, who was runner-up on his debut at Ffos Las to West Torr, although the winner did rather let the form down when well behind on his next run after blundering at the third-last flight.

There is a big line-up for the Handicap Hurdle, including dual course winner Bulletproof, who is in good form following a win on his latest start at Kempton Park. He beat one of tomorrow’s rivals in Frozen Over that day, but Chris Down’s runner is better off at the weights this time. Bulletproof will need to post a career-best performance from a handicap mark of 113, but his veteran trainer Ken Cunningham-Brown had a winner on the Flat at Great Yarmouth this week. Professeur Emery was in good form last summer, rattling up a hat-trick at Stratford, and should improve from his seasonal debut run at Bangor-on-Dee at the end of March. Another to look out for is Walter White, a winner at the course on Ladies Day and just 4lb higher in the weights this time.

There are a number of runners clustered around the top of the handicap in the Hospiscare Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles and it may pay to side with Strumble Head who, despite being raised 9lb for his win at the last meeting, looks to be in the best form. Welcometothejungle failed to follow up her Southwell win last time and will be running off the same rating of 120 in the SIS Trading Services Handicap Hurdle. She will need to improve to take a hand here, as will Dun Scaith, who looks to follow up his win over Barton Rose in a selling race last time. In what looks a trappy contest to call, Worcester winner Kentford Myth might be the best bet to take jockey Andrew Thornton a step nearer his career target of 1,000 winners.

There’s another big field for the closing Independent, IRL Novices´ Handicap Hurdle, including Martin Hill’s Mexican Border, who ran far too freely at Stratford last weekend, and the one that catches the eye is Kingston Mimosa, beaten just a neck by Aaman last month.

So join us this Sunday for some summer fun, remember our new children’s play area is open and our crèche too. Tickets on sale here or on the gates on the day.