McCoy 'gutted' by Binocular defection
Tony McCoy believes Binocular's withdrawal from the Stan James Champion Hurdle has "taken the gloss off" this year's renewal.
The defending champion was declared a non-runner on Sunday after it emerged an allergy medication had failed to clear his system in time to run at the Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer Nicky Henderson was left with little choice but to take out his stable star and McCoy, who will not have a ride in the race now, described himself as "gutted".
He told the Daily Telegraph: "I don't think I have ever felt so low going into a Cheltenham Festival as I did yesterday on hearing the news that Binocular, my best ride of the meeting, was out of tomorrow's Stan James Champion Hurdle after failing to clear medication for an allergy from his system.
"I only found out late on Saturday night when (owner) JP McManus rang to tell me and then Nicky Henderson phoned on Sunday morning to confirm it.
"I am gutted. I feel completely hollow and will now watch the race on the TV on the changing room.
"I hate sitting out championship races. There will, I am sure, be plenty of downers during the week but this was a kick in the groin before it had even started.
"It is tough enough to ride winners here and I have said all along that my week seemed utterly dependent on how he ran in the Champion.
"It has taken gloss off the race. It's a good contest but, whatever your opinions, it was still hard to get away from him."