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Sep 12, 2016

Newton Abbot race preview - Friday 16 September

The summer jumps programme is nearing its end, but Newton Abbot still has four meetings left this year, starting with this Friday’s seven-race card.

Paul Nicholls has had a good summer as he looks to land his 11th title, but it’s another West Country trainer David Pipe who heads the 2016-17 championship table. Pipe is without a runner in the feature and Nicholls will be hoping to close the gap with Frodon, a winner over hurdles in heavy ground at Haydock Park in February.

Although he ran once over fences in France, this will be Frodon’s first experience of British obstacles and it may pay to look to the more experienced Pass The Time, who put up a pleasing performance after her summer break to win at Stratford. Trainer Neil Mulholland, who has already sent out 30 winners this season, said after the race that Pass The Time would improve for the run and she should give a good account of herself here.

Tempestatefloresco made a successful debut under Rules for the Colin Tizzard stable when beating Kilfinichen Bay over the course in August, before his jumping let him down, falling at the penultimate fence behind The Tourard Man at Southwell. He drops back in trip today and, although reunited with jockey Aidan Coleman, may find the pace a bit hot.

Nicholls saddles Beau Phil in the opening Riviera Stonemasons Maiden Hurdle at 13.50, but he has become expensive to follow and has still to win after ten attempts. He finished behind Verygoodverygood in the race won by Mr Mountain here in July and there is no obvious reason why he should turn the tables on Paul Morgan’s runner, who will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.

Echo Brava, who hasn’t been seen out since finishing well down the field behind My Mo at Stratford, can open his account in the PKF Francis Clark Maiden Hurdle. Whilst that piece of form doesn’t inspire confidence, his previous effort when runner-up to Alcock And Brown at Worcester would give him a good chance, although Winning Ticket, beaten when favourite for a handicap over course and distance, could prove a real danger.

The Climatic Engineering Ltd Handicap Hurdle over three and a quarter miles looks a tricky contest, but Generous Chief, who was not disgraced under a big weight at Stratford last time out, should give a good account of himself, despite having been raised 2lbs for that effort.

Six-time point-to-point winner The Wealerdealer, who got off the mark over hurdles at the course in June, and the progressive Princess Tiana look the dangers.

Pawn Star had only half a length to spare over Shady Glen at Worcester last month, but still looks the one to be on as he chases a hat-trick in the Peter Goord Travel & Kuoni Handicap Chase. Dulverton trainer Jeremy Scott runs both top-weight Miss Serious, not seen out since beating Strumble Head over course and distance two months ago, and veteran On The Bridge, winner of a hunter chase at Warwick in April, but facing a stiffer task today.

The Conditional Jockeys´ Handicap Hurdle has attracted the biggest field of the afternoon and, in an open-looking race, it may pay to side with bottom-weight Karl Marx, who ran well when second to Double Court at the course just over two weeks ago.

Pokari, who was a 66-1 shot when beaten a length by Bagad Bihoue in a similar race here in July, could run well in the concluding SIS Trading Services Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Bagad Bihoue has boosted the form by going on to land three hurdle races, but Pokari may have been flattered by his proximity to the winner and preference is for Natter Jack Croak, successful in his only point-to-point in Ireland, and now with Rebecca Curtis.

As the only winner in the field, Third Estate has to give weight away to the other runners. He was a 40-1 shot when scoring at Down Royal, beating a large field, but although the runner-up won over hurdles on her next start, it is difficult to evaluate the form.

Start the weekend early and join us this Friday – gates open at 11.50 and the first race starts at 13.50. Tickets can be purchased by calling 01626 353235 direct from the racecourse office. Tickets will also be available on the gates on the day.