With the holiday season getting into full swing, there was a bumper crowd to cheer the nine runners on their way in the Class 3 Happy 18th Birthday Scott Butler Handicap Hurdle. Top weight was Street Entertainer from the David Pipe stable, who had got the better of Ittirad at Fontwell Park last time out.
But, the runner-up had gone on to win easily at the last meeting and punters made him the 2-1 favourite to follow up and take the near £8,000 first prize.
Both were ridden close to the early pace set by bottom-weight Party Palace, but they had no answer to the finishing kick of Detroit Red, who bounced back to form after finding life tough since scoring here in May, putting up a career best performance to win at 10-1.
Hill and Frost went on to make it a double in the following Happy 50th Birthday Cath King Novices’ Chase with Tzora, who had run promisingly when finishing third to the useful Laudatory over hurdles last month.
Hallings Comet had unseated rider Aidan Coleman at the first fence on his last visit to the course, but had jumped well in the main to beat One Lucky Lady at Worcester previously. Coleman set out to make all the running, but Hallings Comet was being challenged by Tzora when making a mistake at the second-last fence and had no more to give as the winner ran on strongly to score impressively.
Boru’s Brook had run with promise to finish second on his debut in a big field at Punchestown to suggest that he could take the concluding At The Races Virgin 534 Maiden Open National Hunt Flat Race.
s Brook looked to be in command, but Watcombe Heights came with a storming run in the straight to win going away and complete the Hill/Frost treble.
Black Cow was a red-hot favourite to take the opening Packexe 25th Anniversary Maiden Hurdle and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies sent him clear going out on the second circuit.
But, former Irish point-to-point winner One More Tune was making steady headway under Nick Scholfield and they passed the leader going to the last flight to win comfortably.
Racing returns to Newton Abbot Racecourse on Wednesday 13th August with the first race at 14:10. Tickets are available now online at www.newtonabbotracing.com or by calling 01626 353 235.