Oct 11, 2018
Newton Abbot Racecourse Preview Friday 12 October 2018
It’s Newton Abbot’s Season Finale this afternoon with over £100,000 in prize money on offer and One For Billy looks to have a good chance at the weights of landing the feature Class 2 Weatherbys Racing Bank Intermediate Chase to be run over a trip of two miles and five furlongs.
Ditcheat trainer Paul Nicholls has had a quiet time at the course this year, but saddles Dolos, a wide-margin winner at Ascot in November and just touched off in a valuable handicap at Ayr in April in the big race, Nicholls’ former assistant Dan Skelton leads the trainers’ table for the season and had three entries, opting for the consistent One For Billy, owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, who has won at Stratford and Perth this summer. Although rated lower than Dolos, he receives a handy 10lb pull in the weights, which should see him home, although just three winners, one of whom walked over, for the stable in the last fortnight might give punters cause for concern.
There is another good prize up for grabs in the day’s longest race, the Weatherbys Racing Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Hurdle over three and a quarter miles, for which eight of the 21 entries have stood their ground, including Timeforben, who stepped up on her previous form to take a Class 2 hurdle over the course last month.
The Philip Hobbs trained Vodka All The Way, who is making his first appearance in open handicap company, looks to have been set a stiff task from a mark of 127 and top-weight Rolling Maul may be the one to follow Timeforben home.
The action gets underway at 1.40pm with the British Stallion Studs EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) over two miles, with Crooks Peak, a bumper winner over the course a year ago, setting the standard.
Colonel Mustard, also a course winner last May for Minehead trainer Nicky Martin, and Rouge Vif, who was withdrawn at Stratford on Monday because of unsuitable ground, are others to consider, but Crooks Peak looks good enough to take champion jockey Richard Johnson one step nearer his century for the season.
Progressive hurdler Maria’s Benefit was withdrawn from a race at Warwick last week because of the drying ground and should be the leading contender in the Class 3 Thank You To All Our Customers This Season Novices’ Chase. Rated as high as 152 over the smaller obstacles, Maria’s Benefit receives weight from all her rivals, although Flying Tiger has experience on his side, having finished second to Highway One O One here last month.
A competitive field of fourteen line up for the Weatherbys VAT Services Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, including dual course winners Western Sunrise and Amour D’Or, the latter having been dropped by 3lb in the weights for a disappointing run last time.
The Harry Fry trained Rosemary Russet was beaten a long way by Desirable Court in a novice event over the course in May and it may pay to take a chance with Poetic Lady, who was pulled up in her latest run after a long break, but won twice last year and looks fairly weighted on a mark of 115.
A wide-margin winner over hurdles at the course in July, Ange Des Malberaux has since won two of his three starts over fences and could be another winner for Skelton in the Racing Partnership TRP Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) over three and a quarter miles.
The Weatherbys Racing Bank Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race brings the curtain down on the 2018 season and, with seven of the runners making their racecourse debut, the betting may be the best guide to the winner.
Having won the race last year with Crooks Peak, trainer Philip Hobbs runs two this time with stable jockey Johnson on point-to-point winner Ninth Wave, owned by Trevor Hemmings. Others to look out for are Winningseverything from the Harry Fry yard and the Mick Channon trained Hold The Note.
Tickets can be bought online at our online ticket store until 10am on the day of the fixture and can be bought at the gate on the day.