It’s been a quiet week on the Jumps scene, but that all changes tomorrow. For Friday’s racing action I’ve taken a close look at the Newton Abbott Jumps card and I’ve come up with four selections for you.
I’m advising these as singles only, due largely to the unpredictability of the weather and its impact on the going. Nevertheless, I think we will get enough out of them to take some profit into the weekend, where I have some big-priced selections lined up for Saturday over at Listowel.
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I have four selections for you coming from Newton Abbot and I’m quite sweet on all of them. The heavy ground has played a big part in my selections for Friday. It can get very boggy at Newton Abbot, so stamina is definitely a key factor here.
This is a decent looking Handicap and there are a handful with good chances. Ben Lilly is a nice gelding for the David Pipe team, but despite having plenty of ability and plenty of chances to get his head in front, he has yet to win over Hurdles in 10 starts, which does concern me a little bit. It doesn’t look like it’s misfortune either, he just seems to be a bit on the lazy side at times.
Presenting Yeats, who runs for Milton Harris, is very talented and also far more consistent, but I’m going to side with Honey I’m Good instead. She will run here on a much-reduced mark and returns to the course where she has already had two recent wins. This mare is a consistently good traveller, she’ll handle the ground no problem and is likely to produce another strong finish here.
This Mares’ Novice Hurdle is a very interesting race and I think there’s going to be a real battle between two of the runners here. First, there’s Manimole, who is running for the Twiston-Davies team. She’s a very likeable and honest type who has been steadily progressive and she will more than likely run up to the level of her recent win at Southwell.
However, I think Dan Skelton’s Presenting Nelly is the one that is the right one to side with here. She did jump a little bit right last time, but she is learning on the job. To me, she is the one that is more open to improvement and I think the heavy ground should suit her nicely.
Even though there are just four runners here, this race does take a little bit of working out. Don’t Be Robin has been out of form for a while, but I think he will appreciate the heavy going and as this will be more a test stamina, his lack of finishing ability won’t be crucial here. Faitque De L’Isle is coming back after a break and even though he stays well enough, I think he may need this run to put him right over the trip.
Despite the fact that Janeslittlevoice is in search of her first win in 17 starts, she did show improved form in her last two races, so even she has a chance here. However, the one I think will be tough to beat is Frankie Faulkner. He has the fitness edge here and seems like a horse that will appreciate this step up in trip, so that’s where my money is going.
The final race of the day at Newton Abbot is an Open Handicap and Star Legend has a good chance of breaking his maiden on this slight drop in class, but I think Good Impression is the one to be with here. He can be a bit hit and miss, but on his good days he is a really decent sort who will handle this heavy ground better than most in the field.
He usually gets held up and I like those tactics here. There won’t be too much pace in this race and he should be able to pick them off one by one. Overall, he has progressed throughout his career and he is starting to look a little more consistent this year, so I think it’s fair to expect a big effort from him this week.
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