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Jun 03, 2024

Race preview: Wednesday 5 June

Clearance, five times a winner over the course, can take the Class3 Don’t Miss The Newton Abbot Country Show Handicap Hurdle, feature race of Wednesday’s seven-race card.

Raised just 4lbs for an authoritative win, Clearance can follow up at the expense of Warwick winner Uggy Uggy Uggy, having his third run for trainer Keiran Burke. Amateur Megan Bevan has ridden the horse in both his previous starts and they should prove the main danger with Hereford winner Swift Hawk progressing with experience.

Sue Gardner’s Lightonthewing has really found his form in the last few months and, despite a 5lb rise in the weights for his win over Puddlesinthepark here last month, looks the one to beat in the opening Newton Abbot Racecourse On Facebook Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles.

Although winning on soft and heavy ground in March, he showed he could handle faster conditions that day and can confirm the form with the runner-up and also see off Pentire Head, still to win after nine races, who makes his chasing debut.

Pentire Head’s trainer Paul Nicholls saddles two in the following Racing Partnership Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs with stable jockey Harry Cobden on Huelgoat, five times a winner over fences and not disgraced when runner-up to odds-on favourite Minella Rescue at Stratford-on-Avon.

Nicholls’ other runner, Eileen’s Milan, was beaten a long way on his racecourse debut and now goes over hurdles for his second run and point-to-point winner Go Johnny Go was well beaten in an Exeter bumper.

Twice a winner over fences here last season, Honey I’m Good races off a much lower rating over hurdles which should see her in with a chance in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over an extended three and a quarter miles. Saint Bibiana broke her duck over jumps at Stratford at the sixth attempt and Mollie Brown has shown improved form since wind surgery.

American Gerry, runner-up to Time To Bite over the course, looks the one for the Visit Novices’ Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. Up For Appeal, still looking for his first win over fences, finished fourth that day and, although better off at the weights, will have to improve to turn the tables.

The closing Book Our Winning Post Restaurant Hurdle Handicap Hurdle has been divided with both divisions looking wide open.

King’s Castle aims to follow up his Warwick win in the first division where Karannelle looks handily weighted on her best form and Good Impression is back on the same mark as when winning over the course last September. In the second, Greatness Awaits, who ran on the flat at Chester three weeks ago, could gain his first win over hurdles.