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Sep 09, 2019

Racing Preview: Monday 9 September

Trainer David Pipe saddles three of the eight runners for the feature £21,500 Handicap Hurdle at the south Devon course this afternoon, with stable jockey Tom Scudamore on last year’s winner Timeforben.

Timeforben hasn’t won since that victory 12 months ago and last time out finished third over the course to Sizing Granite, who made all the running with Harry Cobden. There is an 8lb turnaround in the weights today and, with Timeforben just 1lb above last year’s winning mark, he looks to have a good chance of reversing the places and posting back-to-back wins in the race.

It’s more than 14 months since Scoop The Pot last ran over hurdles and he was beaten 10 lengths by Hepijeu at Worcester over fences last month. Hat-trick seeking The Sweeney was entered, but not declared, in the race won by Sizing Granite last time and is one for the shortlist.

The PKF Francis Clark “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle over two and quarter miles gets the action underway at 2.25pm and features two previous winners in Rococo River, owned and trained by Jane Williams at South Molton, and Jacamar, one of two runners for Wiltshire trainer Milton Harris.

Rococo River hasn’t been seen out since winning a five-horse race at Exeter in May but, with the runner-up Ballon Onabudget landing a handicap here last month from a rating of 117, the form might be good enough.

Jacamar won a maiden hurdle at Wincanton in April, but has been beaten three times since, including when 33 lengths behind Highly Prized at the last meeting. Rebel Leader won an Irish point-to-point in March and makes his debut under Rules for trainer Harry Whittington.

Black Anthem followed up his course win last month with another at Fontwell Park and seeks a fourth victory in five starts in the Book Saga At Peter Goord Travel Handicap Chase. His last win was over hurdles and he will need to raise his game from a 10lb higher mark back over fences.

Findusatgorcombe seemed to find the three and a half mile trip too far at Stratford on his latest run, but has been dropped to a rating of 87, just 3lb above his last winning mark at Wincanton in March, and is reunited with Bryony Frost today.

Taaffes Castle, winner of his only point-to-point, has failed to add to his score in seven runs over hurdles and fences, but receives a handy weight concession from Black Anthem and runs in this race in preference to the later chase.

Pipe runs Noel’s Boy in the Newton Abbot Racecourse On Facebook Selling Hurdle rather than in the opening race, but he hasn’t progressed since his debut second in a bumper here in July.

Capitoul beat Ballyellis at Market Rasen last month and that horse paid him a compliment when romping home at Stratford on Saturday. He makes a fairly quick reappearance after finishing fourth at Hexham last Monday and looks the one to beat.

Midnight Magic and Game Line filled the places behind Manofthemountain at the last meeting and meet again in the PKF Francis Clark Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles. Game Line was squeezed for room between the last two fences that day and is 2lb better off this time, so should go close, with top-weight Royals And Rebels, an easy winner at Stratford, a real danger if reproducing that form today.

Gates open at 12:25 for Monday’s fixture, with the first race taking place at 14:25. Tickets are available on the gate priced at just £10 for Course Enclosure or £18 for Paddock Enclosure.