Newton Abbot’s two-day meeting kicks off with the Blueglue Graduate Juvenile Maiden Hurdle and the Jim Best-trained Relentless is likely to start favourite.
The three-year-old won a mile and a half handicap by a neck at Lingfield in May and will be well schooled for his debut over hurdles with AP McCoy renewing his lucrative association with the east Sussex trainer.
A two mile five furlongs handicap chase is likely to see Best and McCoy head the market again with recent Southwell winner Robobar who carries 7lb for his eight-length defeat of Farmer Frank on Sunday.
However, if the race comes too quick another option could be the Brian Forsey-trained Solitary Palm who did well to win a 2m5f novice handicap chase at the course in May after belting the last but still getting up to beat Spirit of Lake. Another to consider is Maid of Silk who started favourite to win a 2m7f handicap chase at Worcester last month but didn’t help herself after making a couple of mistakes and finishing fourth.
Kilbree Kid kept on well to win a maiden hurdle at the course last month, beating Danandy by three lengths, and the application of a tongue tie should further aid his cause in tonight’s novices’ hurdle.
Of the others Rob Conti was no match for Alan King’s Letsby Avenue at Market Rasen at the beginning of the month where he was beaten by six lengths in a 2m5f novices’ hurdle but he’s given a chance in this evening’s race over a furlong further.
Just four go in the long-distance novices’ chase and they include the Harry Fry-trained Bold Chief who has won his last two starts, including most recently at Stratford where he just held on to beat Prospect Wells by a neck.
Nicholls saddled that horse and this time he relies on Osgaro to land the spoils. He was beaten half a length at Wincanton in May and is tried for the first time on good to firm ground.
Royal Peak has been earning his keep this summer, winning at Worcester on Monday and Stratford three weeks prior to that. He lines up in the 2m6f handicap hurdle with a 7lb penalty for his troubles, and with a 12st 2lb burden on his back he could be vulnerable to one or two others including Theoystercatcher, who keeps running into one or two better, and Safferano, who has his first run in a handicap.
A competitive looking conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle concludes the card and Pipe will be hoping Prime Location makes amends for defeat at Worcester last month where he was a short-odds favourite to land a maiden hurdle but was beaten seven lengths by Billfromthebar.