With persistent heavy rain having forced the abandonment of the last two meetings, brighter weather over the last few days has ensured that racing will return to Newton Abbot on Wednesday with the Racing Welfare Mental Health Awareness Week Handicap Hurdle getting the seven-race card underway at 2.05pm.
Devon-trained Inferno Sacree has won four of his last five races, making all the running to win unchallenged at Perth on his most recent outing and, if able to step up from a 9lb higher mark, should go close here. Swinging London was never able to mount a challenge to easy winner Mount Tempest at Warwick and Monjules, runner-up on the flat at Salisbury recently, also merit consideration.
Next up is the Alan (Rabbit) Welch Tribute Novices’ Hurdle in which King Of The Lake, trained by Jeremy Scott, looks to have solid credentials. King Of The Lake made a promising debut when runner-up to Brentford Hope at Wincanton and, with the winner franking the form when following up at Huntingdon, this looks a good opportunity to go one better, although Chepstow winner Oakley Dancer won’t be far away.
Despite carrying a 7lb penalty for his Fontwell Park win a week ago, hat-trick seeking Doctor Foley looks the one to beat in the long-distance St Austell Brewery Handicap Chase. Lady Wilberry is admirably consistent, but Keiran Burke’s mare has yet to win in 13 starts and may have to settle for the runner-up spot again.
Also on a hat-trick is Begin The Luck in the Newtonabbotrace On Twitter Handicap Chase, but he faces some stiff opposition from Imperial Joe, who doesn’t know how to run a bad race, and Investment Manager, a 19-length winner at Exeter last time.
Dual Taunton winner Phoenix Risen is yet another hat-trick seeker as he looks to defy top weight in the Racing Partnership Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. He has to concede a lot of weight to Chantilly Haze, runner-up to Pure Theatre at Exeter and, although the winner has come out and been beaten since, that form may still be good enough to take this.
Ditcheat trainer Paul Nicholls landed his 14th championship crown in the 2022/23 season which ended last month and got off the mark for the new campaign when Shearer won at Ludlow on Sunday. Nicholls made just two entries at the course where he has such a fine strike rate and relies on Young Buck, ridden by his daughter Olive, in the Totnes And Bridgetown Steeplechase Company Open Hunters’ Chase over three and a quarter miles.
A winner of his only Irish point-to-point, Young Buck has also won two hurdle races, but is yet to score in four starts over fences, although drops to hunter chase class for the first time.
Five of the nine runners in the closing Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race are making their racecourse debut. Of those that have run, Edmond brings the most experience to the race, but the betting may give a guide as to the chance of Nicky Henderson’s newcomer Manala who would not have to be out of the ordinary to win this.
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