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May 18, 2023

Racing Review - Wednesday 17 May 2023

After two meetings had been lost to bad weather, the going was good to soft, good in places for the return of racing at Newton Abbot on Wednesday with ITV4 including the opening race, the Racing Welfare Mental Health Awareness Week Handicap Hurdle, in its afternoon of live coverage.

In an open betting heat, Monjules, runner-up on the flat at Salisbury recently, just shaded early favouritism, but drifted out to 5/1 as support for top-weight The Pink’n saw him head the market at 3/1. Also well-supported was Devon-trained Inferno Sacree, who shortened from 5/1 to 7/2, and punters chose well as Nigel Hawke’s runner, winner of four of his last five races, led from start to finish.

King Of The Lake had solid credentials in the following Alan (Rabbit) Welch Tribute Novices’ Hurdle, having made a promising debut when runner-up to Brentford Hope at Wincanton, and he was a short-priced favourite to beat Astronomic View, with Chepstow winner Oakley Dancer surprisingly drifting from 9/2 to 13/2.

This time the market got it wrong, as the mare Oakley Dancer and Fergus Gregory made all the running to beat King Of The Lake, who could make no impression from the second-last flight, by six lengths.

Despite carrying a 7lb penalty for his Fontwell Park win a week ago, hat-trick seeking Doctor Foley was the one that punters wanted to be on in the long-distance St Austell Brewery Handicap Chase, being a solid 11/10 favourite. He could never land a blow, however, as course winner Shortcross Storm, sent off at 40/1, was another to make all the running, holding on to deny Lady Wilberry on the run-in by half a length.

Another chasing a hat-trick was Begin The Luck in the Newtonabbotrace On Twitter Handicap Chase, but punters preferred Investment Manager, a 19-length winner at Exeter last time. Investment Manager was never travelling, however, tailing off behind Petticoat Lucy, who was brought from off the pace by Lorcan Williams to reel in leader Across The Line at the final fence.

Caitlin’s Court became the second long-priced winner of the afternoon when springing a 28/1 surprise in the Racing Partnership Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, beating Robinsville and Phoenix Risen. Ridden by Bryony Frost for her father Jimmy, Caitlin’s Court took full advantage of the last flight fall of leader Clongowes to win.

Paul Nicholls trained and jointly owned his only runner at the course with Young Buck, sent off 5/6 favourite in the Totnes And Bridgetown Steeplechase Company Open Hunters’ Chase. A winner of his only Irish point-to-point, Young Buck had yet to score in four starts over fences but, ridden by Olive Nicholls, he put that right, coming into the home straight with a clear lead to beat Moratorium and Bbold comfortably.

Five of the nine runners in the closing Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race were making their racecourse debut, but it was second-favourite Edmond who came out on top, winning at her fourth attempt when seeing off the sustained challenge of newcomer Manala in the final furlong.

Racing returns to Newton Abbot Racecourse on Wednesday 31 May. Tickets are on sale now – book Paddock Enclosure tickets in advance to save “BOOK TICKETS”: