Our racing expert likes the look of three jumpers at Newton Abbot.
Tom Lacey is an up-and-coming trainer with 11 winners on the board already this season, with a couple of those coming in the last fifty fortnight. He is sending one horse to Newton Abbot this afternoon, the French-bred EN MEME TEMPS, who is making his hurdles debut in the 2m51/2f novice, and the four-year-old may well give Nico de Boinville a winner on his only ride at the track.
Bought for 45,000euros as a three-year-old, he was well backed on his bumper debut at Chepstow in February and while he let his backers down by finishing sixth, it was still a promising effort given he raced too keenly off a modest gallop. His trainer is reaching for a first-time hood to help him settle a bit better here and although he’s more of a long-term prospect (one for your Tracker), he is getting a handy 6lb from the forecast favourite Motueka in a race that won’t take much winning.
The handicap hurdle over an extended 2m5f has attracted a big field of 15 and they include Evan Williams’ Marble Moon, who arrives here following back-to-back wins at Ffos Las. He has more on his plate here, though, having gone up a further 7lb since and you have to wonder why he’s waited this long (102 days) to attempt the hat-trick. A problem at home, perhaps?
I’m inclined to take him on and the Harry Whittington-trained THE GO TOU MAN makes plenty of each-way appeal at a double-digit. Although still a maiden after five starts, he has shown definite signs of promise, including when finishing second on his bumper debut and fourth (of 115) in a Huntingdon novice (2m) in January. You’d be hard pressed to call him well-treated on a mark of 115 based on those efforts, but he was reportedly “very babyish” last season according to his trainer and has grown up considerably during the summer. In which case, he may well be able to rate a good deal higher and today’s longer trip should suit him too. UPDATE: the selection is friendless – out to 20/1 from 12/1 – and that suggests he will need his first run back. If not already on, keep stakes very small and do stick him in your Tracker as he will definitely win races this season.
At first glance, the closing selling handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys looks a bit of a minefield for punters with 17 set to go to post, but Dai Burchell’s MOLLYOW could go well at a huge price (she was 100/1 when betting first opened). She’s not been seen out over hurdles since the summer of 2016 and her record of 2-36 hardly inspires confidence either. However, her most recent victory came in a non-seller off a 3lb higher mark than today’s and her two recent spins on the level would have helped to blow any cobwebs away.
That the mare has even come back into training at the age of ten suggests that connections think she is capable of one last hurrah and booking of Jordan Nailor catches the eye too as he not only claims a handy 5lb, but was successful on his only previous ride for this yard. With Burchell’s only other runner in the last fortnight finding the winners’ enclosure (5-15, 33% overall this season), she has to be worth a small each-way interest.
All odds were correct at time of posting.