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McCoy full of raise for retired Binocular

Published 11/12/2013 | 23:32

Tony McCoy riding Binocular
Tony McCoy riding Binocular

Champion jockey Tony McCoy paid tribute to Binocular after the former Champion Hurdle winner was retired following the discovery of an underlying heart problem.

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McCoy labelled the Nicky Henderson-trained, JP McManus-owned nine-year-old as the quickest jumper of a hurdle he has ever ridden in his illustrious career.

McCoy rode Binocular in 20 of his 22 races over timber. He said: "He was the fastest horse to get from one side of a hurdle to the other that I've ever ridden.

"He deserves the happy retirement that he's now going to enjoy at Martinstown (McManus' stud in Ireland)."

Binocular was always held in the highest regard by connections, arriving at Seven Barrows in 2007 before making a winning debut as a four-year-old at Ascot in January 2008.

In 2010, he won the Champion Hurdle with a devastating display by three and a half lengths from Khyber Kim.

Despite never reaching those heights again he did win two Christmas Hurdles at Kempton, but in two runs last season he showed little of his old spark. Confirming the decision, McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "He has been retired -- he had a little heart complaint."

He won 11 of his 22 races over obstacles and made nearly £800,000 in prize-money.

Irish Independent

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