McCoy and Behtarini relish wet conditions
DESPITE the heavy rain that hit South Devon over the weekend, Monday's meeting at Newton Abbot went ahead after an early morning inspection and it proved to be a good day for punters with some well-backed winners on the seven-race card, writes David Hucker.
Although the course escaped the worst of the lunchtime downpour, the going was very much on the heavy side and there were some tired finishers in the opening Fake That Concert Here 25 August Novices Handicap Hurdle.
One that relished the conditions was Behtarini, who stormed home in the hands of champion jockey A P McCoy to beat West Bay Hoolie by 21 lengths and give favourite backers the perfect start to the afternoon.
Odds-on Jolly Roger was another easy winner in the second, the newtonabbotracing.com Handicap Hurdle, having no more than an exercise canter to see off his three rivals, before 5-1 shot Petito and Tommy Phelan took the third in good style for Sherborne trainer Mark Gillard.
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Victor Leudorum made it three winning favourites from four races when comfortably landing the day's richest race, the £8,000 At The Races Sky 415 Novices' Hurdle from Traditional Bob, giving the impression that his winning streak may not be over yet.
Just four went to post for the Follow Us On Facebook Handicap Chase over two miles and half a furlong, but 7-4 market leader Blue Hills gave Phelan a riding double and another bashing for the bookies.
Wilde Ruby, who was denied a winning opportunity at Fontwell Park last time out when her saddle slipped on the run-in, depositing jockey Andrew Thornton on the turf, gained compensation in the Come Racing For A Tenner August 4 Handicap Hurdle, coming home five lengths clear of R Craig.
There is more racing at the course next Tuesday evening when the gates will be open three hours before the opener, the Newton Abbot Racecourse On Facebook Handicap Hurdle, which is due off at 6.40pm.
The feature race is the SIS Live Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs and the finale, Come To Ladies Night Next Tuesday Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race, is at 9.20pm.
Looking further ahead, tickets are now on sale for the track's richest-ever day's racing on Saturday, August 4, when there will be more than £100,000 in prize money on offer. Paddock enclosure tickets are available for £10 if pre-booked by July 4.