SIMON NOTT: Newton Abbot Wednesday On Course Report

An overcast summer day at Newton Abbot, eight races and of course no crowd when it would normally have been heaving, bolstered by holidaymakers. Hopefully these empty days are soon to be over. On the bright side, the show is being kept on the road by a tireless racecourse team on which clockwork has got nothing.


1:15 – oldgoldracing.com Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 4) (4YO plus) 2m 5½f

The feature of the betting in the opener was the relative weakness of Fergal O’Brien’s odds-on jolly Templepark and the support for Ian Williams’ Noble Behest backed from 13/2 into 16/5. Second-in Bob Pebble fell, unscathed, at the first. Ultimately the favourite was too good for them and won with some ease. After the race, winning jockey Max Kendrick told Luke Harvey that the gelding had drawn from his win here two weeks ago, he felt his mount had been enjoying his racing and was just doing enough, despite being very bold at a couple of his hurdles. Going ominously well for most of the race, Noble Behest had to settle for second which suited the office. After laying bets of £5500- £1000 and £9000 -£ 2000 ‘Inlike’ Flynn said ‘Thank God we didn’t lay it each way’ adding that the jolly was a small winner in the book.

1:45 – oldgoldracing.com Get Your Heart Racing Juvenile Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 4) (3YO only) 2m 1f

The second odds-on favourite from two races went in when Hiconic gave a stone and a beating to his rivals under Bryan Carver.

After the race, he said that it had been a great training performance by Alex Hales making it four in a row. He added that the filly might still be a little bit green but is straightforward and so good at her hurdles she can save a bit of energy. The trainer confirmed she might still be green but that she’d been schooled as a two-year-old and that jumping had come easy to her, evidently very pleased with his £6000 claim from Wolverhampton. The office didn’t get away with it this time, the winner the only loser in the book which included a bet of £1500 – £1800.

I didn’t mention it before but I appear to have annoyed someone, over the last few weeks he’s called me, he’s called the Mayfair Office, (don’t ask me why) He called me between races again today saying I’d been reported because he’s an owner and can’t go racing and that I shouldn’t be allowed either …. then hung up. He doesn’t leave his name and calls from withheld number. Give me another call my friend and stay on the phone long enough for me to reply. I’ll explain how the system works and that I’m not pulling any strokes and hopefully you’ll be happier. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s blog.

2:20 – oldgoldracing.com Thrill Of Ownership Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 5) (4YO plus) 2m 5f

Back on the turf, Cheltenham de Vaige the 4/1 favourite won the next won under Paddy Brennan and provided a double on the card for trainer Fergal O’Brien. The pilot explained that he wanted the ride and that it had been a long road to get to this victory. He wasn’t happy with the ride he gave the gelding last time but today everything went right and that they’d enjoyed the day. The office reported no bets of note.

2:50 – Old Gold Racing Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (3YO plus) 2m 5½f

Some morning money had been for the Paul Nicholls’ Owners Group 019 owned Parody, 7/1 had been clipped into 7/2. The favourite, Ben Pauling’s Doubly Clever had also been backed from 11/4 early but best priced a bottle, 2/1, as they collected at the start. Sadly, for backers and connections of Parody she could only manage fourth behind the jolly who won nicely after a tussle with David Pipe’s Percy Street. Jockey Luca Morgan said that the eight-year-old gelding appeared to be getting better, adding he travelled great and when he gave him some light he came to life. The winner was a very bad result for the office, winning bets included £3250 – £1000, £3250 – £1000, £900 – £400, £2875 -£1000. That’s four favourites in a row at the track, nasty.

3:20 – oldgoldracing.com Thrill Of Ownership Handicap Hurdle (Class 4) (3YO plus) 2m 1f

It got nastier,for the layers at least. Inlike Flynn reported that there had been bets of £3125 – £2500, £500 -£400, £1750 – £1000 for Jonjo O’Neill’s charge Pagero in the next. Over the last it looked as if salvation for the office may come in the shape of 6/1 shot Hallings Comet who appeared to be going like the winner. Favourite-backers were in clover yet again though when Jonjo O’Neill Jr urged the jolly home and got the 5/4 shot there right on the line to win by a short head. After the race he said his mount had a lot weight for a small horse and had to work hard – adding the rain had started to get into the ground.

3:50 – Old Gold Racing Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4YO plus) 3m 2f

Even money market leader Soldier of Love, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Cobden made it six out of six favourites. The jockey said that the gelding was good fun to ride, jumps well and runs faster when you ask him, every jockey’s dream adding he’s ridden him more up with the pace today. It wouldn’t be the bookies’ dream though. The office had laid £2500 – £3000, £1500 – £1800, £2000 – £2200 and £833 – £1000 twice.

In the good old days when allowed on course to bet in cash against the punters they would have been moping into their hods. Almost always all but one …. the clever clogs who’d done the favourites through the card accumulator who’d pull out his morning betting shop sleeve and wave it with glee, quite often Johnny Deane RIP. In 2020 the norm is we still had two races to go.

4:25 – Own A Share With oldgoldracing.com Handicap Chase (Class 5) (4YO plus) 2m ½f

I’d imagine if dear old Johnny Deane had done an accumulator through an eight race card he’d be getting quite excited after Evan William’s charge Peterborough and 7/4 favourite won the penultimate under Adam Wedge. The jockey said that the winner wasn’t a natural jumper but gets his front legs up well, adding the going was now riding good.

It wasn’t all bad news for the office though, the bogey was Kiruna Peak which attracted bets of £1500 and £1000 at 11/4, the winner just ‘took the book’.

4:55 – Become An Owner With oldgoldracing.com Standard Open NH Flat Race (GBB Race) (Class 5) (4YO to 6YO) 2m 1f

The lucky last saw Fergal O’Brien’s Ultimate Getaway go off the 6/4 favourite to get a treble on the card for the trainer. Sadly, for him he had to settle for runner-up spot behind the Peter Bowen trained 10/3 chance Courtland. Speaking after the race, jockey James Bowen said that the gelding had come on a bit for his last run. He’d always thought his mount possessed a bit of speed and that he showed it today. It also ended a bit of a barren patch for the yard so smiles all round.

Not least in the office!

Simon Nott


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.


Simon Nott is author of:
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