Tag Archive for: Newton Abbot

Bravemansgame impresses on chasing bow

Bravemansgame made an impressive debut over fences with an all-the-way triumph in the Aubrey Loze Memorial Intermediate Chase at Newton Abbot.

Given a positive ride by Harry Cobden, the Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old ran his rivals into submission with a superb round of jumping.

The Big Breakaway tried to launch a challenge, but was up against it when he came down at the final fence. That left Fusil Raffles, a three-time novice chase winner last term, to pick up second place – five lengths behind the 4-6 favourite.

“That was a fantastic performance. We knew he jumped well and he was absolutely brilliant out there. I said to Harry ‘you’ve got no weight, so if you want to bowl along do so’,” Nicholls told Sky Sports Racing.

“He did that nicely and he’s not filly wound up yet. We were originally going to go straight to Wincanton for the Rising Stars, but when it rained we thought he’d have some education here in a race instead of schooling him at home and that’s why we brought him here.

“And we’ve won it before with a novice, Black Corton. With 10st 8lb because they’re a novice they get the allowances and it’s useful to use. There’d have been nowhere to go before Wincanton. This is perfect.

“He’s not that robust and he doesn’t need a lot work. He ran at Cheltenham and Aintree last season and had hard races, but he’s had a nice summer. We’ve just ticked him along nicely.

“The Rising Stars next and I’m not totally convinced he needs to go three miles yet. We’ll just make a plan with him as the season goes along and mind him.”

Nicholls’ gelding was third to Bob Olinger at Cheltenham, and could meet Henry de Bromhead’s star again at some stage as he too is going chasing.

Reflecting on the Festival run, Ditcheat trainer added: “Harry said to me he couldn’t believe going to the second-last someone was at his shoulder – he (Bob Olinger) must be a very smart horse, hopefully he stays in Ireland and they don’t meet too soon!”

Nicholls and Cobden were completing a quick double after Skatman (6-4 favourite) took the British Stallion Studs EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Shang Tang shines on chasing debut at Newton Abbot

Emma Lavelle’s Shang Tang made a winning start to his chasing career when taking the Sky Sports Racing On Virgin 535 Novices’ Chase at Newton Abbot.

Ridden by Tom Bellamy, the gelding started at 5-2 and jumped well throughout to cross the line two lengths ahead of Nicky Henderson’s evens favourite Hooper.

Whilst Bellamy’s mount was sufficiently clear of the field to avoid being hampered, it was the third-placed Ruthless Article who suffered from interference after Hooper hung badly on the run in and therefore triggered a stewards’ inquiry – though the placings remained unchanged.

“I was schooling for a circuit and then it fell our way,” Bellamy told Sky Sports Racing.

“He was a little bit brave earlier on, so I was quite conscious to get him into the boards at a few and teach him a bit.

“He’ll be a lot better on better ground as well, he found that quite hard work. He’s exciting and he’s going to be a better chaser than he was a hurdler.”

Flammarion made his debut run over obstacles a success when taking the Jan And Jeff Silver Wedding Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle by two and a quarter lengths under Tom Scudamore.

The five-year-old was previously campaigned on the Flat by David O’Meara, starting his career with a winning run in a bumper before turning his attention to the Flat code entirely and then joining David Pipe.

“He ran well last time but he’s a little bit quirky,” Scudamore said after the 4-1 victory.

“I think he’s going the right way and he’s won well today.”

Ian Williams’ Fifrelet also made a successful transition to hurdling when taking the Bryan And Ilva Westcott Memorial Maiden Hurdle as the 4-9 favourite under Liam Harrison.

The six-year-old had run in three bumpers previously, winning twice and finishing second once, and converted that form over hurdles to produce an impressive nine-length victory.

“He’s a horse that’s always raced a little bit behind the bridle,” Harrison said.

“Ian’s done a great job to get him to win two bumpers because he’s a proper galloper, he’s a National Hunt type.

“I was pretty confident but I was active enough in the saddle because he’s actually very raw and green, although he’s had three runs in bumpers.

“He’s a stayer and you wouldn’t want it to turn into a sprint, so we had to commit.”

Montys Medoc was the winner of the Watch Sky Sports Racing In HD Handicap Hurdle for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden, prevailing by a length and three-quarters at 3-1.

“He’s jumped well today and he’s improving,” Cobden said.

“The last day he ran, it was obviously quite a long time ago and he’s had a break since then, but he was landing behind and taking a few out of the ground, so it’s just nice to see that he’s matured over the summer and come back better and stronger.”

Nicholls and Cobden made it a double when Mick Pastor claimed the Follow @attheraces On Twitter Handicap Chase as the 13-8 favourite.

Adrian Wintle’s Espinator showed his consistency when taking the Racing Partnership Novices’ Handicap Hurdle as 7-4 favourite under Kevin Brogan.

“He’s a pleasure, he’s an armchair ride really,” Brogan said of the half-length triumph.

“He popped away lovely, he handled the ground a lot better than I thought he would as well.

“We knew going into the race that there’d be a good bit of pace on, he’s one that struggles to find fifth gear so I knew the trip was going to work to our favour.”

Elsewhere on the card the opening Talk Tidy Marketing Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Handicap Hurdle went the way of Arty Campbell (11-1).

Dramatic turn of events at Newton Abbot leads to unlikely winner for Mitchell Bastyan

Mitchell Bastyan ended up on the winning horse, Kubinski, in the concluding bumper following a dramatic sequence of events at Newton Abbot.

The 3lb claimer steered Chris Honour’s newcomer home over two rivals in the two-mile-one-furlong contest after his scheduled mount, Aussie Moon, was withdrawn and Kubinski’s intended partner, Bryan Carver, was injured on the way to the start.

Carver was treated on track and taken to hospital for further assessment on a possible back injury.

Aussie Moon had been declared a non runner after it transpired the wrong horse had been brought from Milton Harris’ stable.

Bastyan stayed on track and was rewarded with an unusual spare ride.

He was a last-minute replacement after Carver – who also claims 3lb – was thrown from 4-9 favourite Kubinski as he cantered to the start.

It quickly became apparent Carver would be unable to compete and the stewards allowed him to be substituted by Bastyan.

Kubinski behaved impeccably during the race and eventually got the better of long-time leader Gorcombe Moonshine by five lengths.

Honour, who owns as well as trains Kubinski locally, said: “You couldn’t make it up.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed Bryan is all right, that’s the main thing. He’s fallen and hurt his back.

“He was put on a spinal board for precaution. He said his back was hurting, but he said he could move everything so fingers crossed he’s OK.

“I was told they’d got another jockey so I said ‘let’s go’. I’ve never met Mitch Bastyan before. He’s gone out there and won a race for me. It’s great – an amazing turn of events.”

He added of the winner: “He ran very green, but he’s a nice horse and he’s going to the sales. He’ll be a lot of fun for somebody. I’d love to keep him, but I have to try to make things pay. He’ll improve a lot on what he’s done today.

“He’s a nice, big scopey horse. He hasn’t beaten much today but he gallops, is going forward and jumps a hurdle really well.”

Windsor and Newton Abbot fall to the weather

This evening’s meeting at Windsor has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

A precautionary inspection was called for 7am on Monday following heavy rain in recent days.

The final race of last Monday’s card was also abandoned following sustained rainfall throughout the evening and a fall in an earlier race.

Windsor racecourse’s Twitter feed posted: “RACING TODAY ABANDONED. Unfortunately we’ve had a further 9mm of rain overnight and further rain is forecast today.”

It was a similar story at Newton Abbot in Devon, too, ahead of Wednesday’s fixture.

The course had to abandon on May 12, too, and while an 8am inspection was called, the decision was taken before then.

A further 14 millimetres of rain fell in the previous 12 hours with more forecast for Monday and Tuesday leaving clerk of the course Jason Loosemore with no option but to call it off.

The meeting in Ireland at Ballinrobe did survive an inspection, however.

Wednesday’s fixture at Gowran, though, needs to pass an 8am inspection on raceday morning.

Parts of the course are currently unfit for racing and a further three millimetres of rain is forecast.

Richard Johnson announces retirement

Four-time champion jumps jockey Richard Johnson has announced his retirement.

Johnson, 43, announced his unexpected decision after his final ride on Brother Tedd at Newton Abbot on Saturday.

He said: “After nearly 30 years in the saddle, the time has come for me to retire.

“I have been so extraordinarily lucky to have ridden so many wonderful horses, and for so many incredible trainers and owners.

“It was particularly important to me to finish on one for Philip and Sarah Hobbs – who, like Henry Daly, have supported me for over 20 years. I’ll never be able to articulate what their loyalty has meant to me.”

Many of Johnson’s highest-profile winners came for Hobbs, including on Rooster Booster in the 2003 Champion Hurdle.

He also rode two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, Looks Like Trouble in 2000 and Native River in 2018

Johnson added in a statement:  “There are so many people to thank who have been part of my journey.

“Without ‘the Duke’ (trainer David Nicholson) and Dinah Nicholson and their remarkable staff, I’d never have got that first leg up.

Richard Johnson won his second Cheltenham Gold Cup on Native River in 2018
Richard Johnson won his second Cheltenham Gold Cup on Native River in 2018 (Tim Goode/PA)

“Noel Chance, Peter Bowen and Milton Bradley – thank you for putting your trust in me when I was starting out. Those were the days that shaped my career, with so many people who remain lifelong friends.

“The truth is there are simply too many people to thank on an individual basis, but you know who you are and what you mean to me. To jockeys past and present who I’ve shared weighing-room benches with up-and-down the country, to the valets who have looked after me, to the doctors who’ve patched me up and to the physios who’ve put me back together.

“Without (agent) Dave Roberts, I’d have never ridden as many winners – and without the help of physio Kate Davis in recent years, I wouldn’t physically have been able to. I salute you all.”

Johnson was a perennial runner-up to 20-times champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy for much of his career – but following his great rival’s retirement, he too made the title his own for four successive years, from 2015/16 to 2018/19.

He added: “Thank you to the Tote and the ROA for sponsoring me. Thanks to all the fantastic racecourses and staff that put on this great show and to all the media who have been so supportive for so long.

“To all horseracing fans who we have missed so much this year on our racecourses. Thank you for every cheer, every shout of encouragement – it’s given me enormous strength over the years. I am so very grateful to you all.

“To my wonderful family, thank you so much. Mum, Dad and my brother Nick who have always been by my side. Finally, to my wife Fiona and amazing children Willow, Caspar and Percy. Without you, nothing would have been possible.”

Robbie Power registers first win since British switch

Robbie Power partnered his first winner since relocating to Britain as Eldorado Allen made a successful fencing debut in the Follow @WillHillRacing On Twitter Novices’ Chase at Newton Abbot.

The Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey has made frequent trips across the Irish Sea in recent seasons, enabling him to ride for both Jessica Harrington at home and Colin Tizzard in Britain.

However, with Covid-19 protocols making such an arrangement impossible, Power has moved to Britain for the foreseeable future, leaving behind his wife Hannah and young daughter Emma.

Having his 11th ride since the switch, Power steered the Tizzard-trained Eldorado Allen to a two-length success over Stormy Ireland.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “(Life) is a bit better now – I’ve had a winner, so that’s great.

“It was a decision I was forced into, a decision I didn’t want to make. All through the summer I was chatting with my wife and saying this might happen, but we never thought it would.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it’s done now and we’re here.

“I think my family will stay (in Ireland) – I’m only here for six or seven months of the year and (will) go home for the summer. We’ve got to look on the positive side of things and hopefully Covid, not just for my sake but for the world, will pass over and we can get back to some sort of normality.

“It is what it is at the moment and we just keep going.”