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May 29, 2024

Race Report: Wednesday 29 May

Three times a winner over the course, Investment Manager returned to winning ways when making all the running to land Newton Abbot’s feature race, the Class 3 Newton Abbot Racecourse Conference Centre Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles.

Twice a winner earlier in the year before finishing third at Cheltenham last month, Juniper, the only ride of the afternoon for champion jockey Harry Cobden, was bidding to return to winning form. Always steady in the betting, Anthony Honeyball’s mare was sent off the 15/8 favourite, but was pulled up in the home straight as Investment Manager and Brendon Powell made all the running to beat Hauraki Gulf and Champagne Court, who was still in with a chance until weakening between the last two fences.

There was a turnround in the betting for the opening Newton Abbot Racecourse On Facebook Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle with Cindysox, third on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon, replacing the overnight favourite Walk Of The Roses. Punters got it spot on as Cindysox was always prominent, with jockey Jonathan Burke never leaving the inside rail, and a better jump at the last flight saw her see off the challenge of bumper winner Walk Of The Roses who was having her first run over hurdles.

The money came for dual point-to-point winner Hold Your Fort, who replaced Coconut Twist as favourite for the Racing Partnership Novices’ Handicap Chase. Hold Your Fort had made his debut for trainer Debra Hamer over hurdles three weeks ago, but was back over fences this time and clearly expected to improve for that run.

He could finish only fourth, however, as Coconut Twist, runner-up five times in a row over hurdles before coasting home in a maiden point-to-point at Larkhill, collared Zero Tolerance approaching the final fence to give Dorset trainer Daisy Hitchins her first win over jumps.

Despite having to carry top weight, Monjules, four times a winner over hurdles, headed the market for the Download The At The Races App Handicap Hurdle. He was pulled up by Megan Bevan when tailed off down the back straight as Trump Lady made all the running to beat Caspers Court and Silver Shade.

Phoenix Way, not seen out since unseating his jockey at the third fence in last year’s Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree, was the punters’ choice ahead of Yccs Portocervo to land the Totnes And Bridgetown Chase Company Open Hunters’ Chase. Ridden by top amateur Gina Andrews, It was Yccs Portocervo, who rounded off last season with a win at Kempton Park, who prevailed, making all the running for a wide-margin success over Phoenix Way and may well win again.

The closing newtonabbotracing.com Novices’ Limited Handicap Hurdle saw the biggest field of the day and it was top-weight Hillsin, who finished third at Worcester in controversial circumstances last July, who came out on top. Now trained by Alan Jones, for whom he ran a respectable race to finish runner-up at Exeter following wind surgery, he got the better of hat-trick chasing Our Dylan in a prolonged battle up the home straight.