Bumper card after latest cancellation due to rain
NEWTON Abbot's weekend festival of racing was hit by the weather, with Saturday's meeting becoming the fourth cancellation of the year but, thankfully, the course dried out in time for Sunday's fixture to go ahead, writes David Hucker.
With heavy rain in the first half of the week leaving parts of the course waterlogged, officials took the decision on Thursday to abandoned Saturday's meeting.
The big race of the day, the Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase, was transferred to Sunday, making a bumper eight-race card.
Special Account had handled soft ground well when taking a novice hurdle at the track back in June and Jeremy Scott's runner was sent off the 11-10 favourite to land the opener.
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Held up early on by Nick Scholfield, Special Account led approaching the last flight of hurdles to easily beat second-favourite Cabimas.
Paul Nicholls had added to his record as leading handler at the course when sending out Prince Tom to land a valuable race at the previous meeting and he lined up again in the £11,000 Racing Post Form With Totepool Mobile Novices' Chase.
With just one rival to beat this time in the shape of Ixora, Harry Derham took Prince Tom to the front from the off and the combination proved too strong for Jamie Snowden's mare, winning comfortably by nine lengths.
There was £25,000 in the prize fund for the totepool.com Sports, Games. Bingo and More Handicap Hurdle and trainer David Pipe sent out four of his original eight entries, with Ashbrittle heading the betting market at 2-1.
But, Ashbrittle could only manage third place behind 14-1 stable companion Premier Dane, who won by six lengths from Monetary Fund.
Shoegazer stepped up in class for the competitive Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase (Listed Race) over an extended two miles and five furlongs.
Sent off at 9-2, he benefited from The Disengager's last fence mistake to beat Enfant De Lune and complete a big race double for the Pipe yard,
In the sixth, On The Bridge was another looking to win at the course for the second meeting running, but he couldn't peg back Call Me Sir, who was taken into the lead after the third last flight by Aidan Coleman and ran on strongly to win for Longdown trainer Susan Gardiner.
Too Generous then made all the running to take the National Hunt Flat Race in the hands of Tom Scudamore and land another winner on an afternoon to remember for Pipe.
There are just four meetings left at the track this season, with the next one being on Monday 10 September. The first race is due off at 2.10pm and gates will open two and a half hours before.