Newton Abbot has been a happy hunting ground for Paul Nicholls throughout his career. It’s fairly local to him so it makes sense for him to have had plenty of runners over the years. However, you simply cannot ignore the strike-rate he has maintained. The master of Ditcheat has a strike-rate of 28 per cent at the track with a massive 238 winners from 853 runners. He has two runners on Monday who form a 25-1 double and they have to be of interest. Check out our free tips page for daily content across all British and Irish racing.
Birds Of Prey (9-4, William Hill) seems to have been in the grip of the handicapper since winning two novice hurdles back in 2019. He came close to winning at Wincanton three starts ago but the handicapper wasn’t having any of it and put him back up by 2lb. His second here last time out over an extended 2m5f in what was a warm race for the grade suggests he has it in him to win off this mark. It has been a while since he tried this sort of trip but his breeding implies that it should suit better.
Zoran (7-1, William Hill) is taking his time to work out what the job is over hurdles. The gelding showed very little in his first four starts but his latest run was a significant improvement. Having only been beaten by seven-and-a-quarter lengths, it suggested that he’s heading in the right direction. If not for a mistake at the last he could well have finished closer. Further progression can’t be ruled out and if he takes another step forward here on just his sixth hurdles start, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get his head in front.
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