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Jun 30, 2016

Racing preview - Friday 1 July 2016

We’re celebrating Stable Staff week here at Newton Abbot Racecourse and at this Friday’s fixture the spotlight is on the behind the scenes team who make such a positive difference in racing. Look out for, and cheer our prize winners: the stable staff for the seven best turned out horses picked on Friday will each receive a prize of £50 and a free Racing Welfare jacket.

Trainer Paul Nicholls is double-handed in the feature SIS Horses In-Running Novices’ Handicap Chase at Newton Abbot with Amanto and Maxi Chop, but may have to settle for the places, as the in-form Relentless Dreamer looks the one to beat.

Still looking for his first win over jumps, Amanto put up a pleasing performance when runner-up to the enterprisingly-ridden Myroundoryurs at Worcester on his chasing debut, but has gone up 4lb in the weights as a result. Stable companion Maxi Chop won a hunter chase here in May, but disappointed when sent off favourite at Ffos Las. He races off the same handicap rating of 118 today and will need to improve on that performance to be in the shake-up.

There are no question marks about Hindon Road, whose trainer, Alan King, has made a good start to the season with 16 winners at a 31% strike rate, but the vote goes to Ffos Las scorer Relentless Dreamer, who has only 2lb more to carry here and comes from the stable of Rebecca Curtis, who had a double at Worcester on Wednesday.

The meeting gets underway at 2.10pm with the Sean Dooner Is Back Maiden Hurdle, in which Arthur Burrell makes a quick reappearance after finishing runner-up behind Moabit at the course last week. Trained at Saltash by Jackie du Plessis, he was well beaten in the end by the easy winner, but had looked to be making a race of it turning out of the back straight and should improve for the run.

Nicholls has chosen Beau Phil from his two entries, but he is getting expensive to follow and couldn’t quicken behind Dun Bay Creek on his last start here. He is still seeking his first win after eight attempts and three-time point-to-point winner Banny’s Lad, who makes the long trip from Mick Easterby’s Yorkshire stable, could be a better bet.

Westend Prince, who broke his duck at the 11th time of asking at Fontwell Park, looks to follow up in the Ashley FC Tours – Ashdash Handicap Hurdle, but has a stiffer task from a 7lb higher mark. Frozen Over ran well at the last meeting on ground softer than he likes and will appreciate the better going today. Cruise In Style has won seven races in all, including over hurdles and fences at the course. Her last win came at Exeter in October and she races from the same handicap mark. But the best handicapped horse of the race is Tamarillo Grove, who won three times in 2014, including over the course and distance, and now races from a mark of 103, compared to 122 for his last success.

David Pipe runs Amigo from his three entries in the newtonabbotracing.com Handicap Hurdle, who is reverting to the smaller obstacles after performing with credit over fences at Cheltenham on his last two runs. Ganbei is consistent, having been a wide-margin winner at Stratford in May, and course winner Vesperal Dream is another reverting to hurdles from chasing. He looks to be on a handy mark and runs here in preference to a race at Market Rasen on Sunday.

Another to look out for is Veneaux Du Cochet, a winner of five races in France, who makes his British debut for Littlehempston trainer Martin Hill. Course winner I’llhavealook takes a drop in class in the Visit attheraces.com Selling Handicap Hurdle, having pulled up behind Mogestic in testing ground last time in a race where only a third of the runners finished.

Top-weight Barton Rose is consistent, but doesn’t get her head in front very often. She races off her lowest handicap rating for over two years and, with Harry Cobden taking 5lb off her allotted weight, may be the one to follow today.

Dusk Till Dawn could win his second chase over the course in the Racing Welfare Stable Staff Week Handicap Chase and Bagad Bilhoue, a winner at Vire in April 2015, but well beaten on his British debut at Wincanton, could take the concluding Attheraces Sky 415 Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race for Nicholls and the season’s leading jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

So join us this Friday for our ninth fixture of the season and celebrate summer with an afternoon’s racing. Tickets available online until 5pm on Thursday 30 June or available at the gates on the day.