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Aug 07, 2018

Newton Abbot Racecourse Review Monday 6 August 2018

It was all square between Harry Skelton and Richard Johnson in the race to be this season’s champion jockey at Newton Abbot yesterday, with both ending the afternoon with a winner to leave Skelton leading 75-49 as jumps racing now takes its summer break.

Both jockeys went head-to-head in the opening Actuate Marketing Handicap Hurdle over two and three-quarter miles, which was called by judge Guy Lewis, doubling up as stand-in commentator for the afternoon. Skelton was on Bold Image, who had shown improved form when finishing third behind Kalmbeforethestorm over the course and distance in April on his last run for trainer Suzy Smith.

Reappearing after wind surgery and having his first outing for Warwickshire trainer Dan Skelton, who has provided all but one of his brother’s winners, Bold Image had drifted in the morning betting from 5-2 to 9-2, but was returned the 7-2 second favourite behind market leader Angel Of Harlem.

It was Clearly Capable who led going to the penultimate flight, but Bold Image was challenging on his outside and, although jumping to the right, was in control from there on to complete back-to-back wins in the race for the Skeltons, who took the 2017 running with Premier Rose.

Clearly Capable just held Angel Of Harlem for second place with Johnson’s mount Baily Sunset out of contention having been pulled up in the home straight.
Amalfi Doug was fancied to make it a quick stable double in the following Handicap Chase over an extended two miles, but disappointed his followers in finishing only third to Walden Prince, who was making his 55th career start.

The race was run at a true pace, with the winner clocking a time 1.2 seconds faster than the Racing Post standard and, having gone past No No Cardinal two fences from home, Walden Prince stayed on strongly to win by 11 lengths for Gloucestershire trainer Sophie Leech, who had sent out Tamarillo Grove to score at the last meeting.

Johnson was on board Yensir, who has gone from strength to strength since moving from Grant Tuer to the Olly Murphy stable in January, in the Racing Partnership Novices’ Hurdle with the combination looking for their fourth win in a row.

Yensir had to carry the maximum penalty for his three successes and there was nothing between him and dual winner Drovers Lane on official ratings. Punters sent Rebecca Curtis’s runner off favourite, but it was Yensir who triumphed, making just about all the running to vindicate Murphy’s decision to stick to hurdles rather than go for the following chase in which he had also been entered.

Drinks Interval had proved too good for The Unit when they met over the course last month, but there was no market confidence in Colin Tizzard’s mare this time as she drifted from 6-4 to 3-1 in the morning betting for the Racing Partnership TRP Novices’ Chase, being returned even bigger at 7-2.

The market got it right, as Alan King’s The Unit, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, gained his revenge, leading between the final two fences and staying on well to beat Drinks Interval by three lengths to record his second win over fences.

David Pipe had the hat-trick seeking Celestial Path entered at Perth and Stratford last week, but let him take his chance in the Racegoers Club 50th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle. He was another fancied horse to be weak in the betting prior to the meeting and, after being prominent for much of the race, was well beaten in the end behind 6-1 shot Chantecler, who made most of the running with conditional jockey Harry Reed to open his account over hurdles at the 17th attempt.

Wayne Hutchinson made it a double for the afternoon when Neil King’s Little Windmill followed his Worcester hurdles win in the Newtonabbotrace On Twitter Handicap Chase in which seven of the runners, including 7-4 favourite Massini’s Lady who was a spent force down the back straight, failed to finish.

Dorette, Aidan Coleman’s only ride of the day, was backed from 4-1 into 2-1 for the concluding Attheraces Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race to give Olly Murphy another winner and he duly obliged, although was being challenged by Essgee Nics when he ducked left at a crossing inside the final furlong and unseated Nick Scholfield.

Racing at Newton Abbot Racecourse returns on Wednesday 15th August, with racing starting at 13.50 and gates open at 11.50. Tickets can be bought online at our online ticket store until 10am on the day of the fixture or at the gates on the day. Remember, children aged 16 and under and students with a valid photo ID go free to all fixtures at Newton Abbot Racecourse.