Saturday 25 February 2017

McCoy to seal Wetherby brace for Byrnes

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

CHARLES BYRNES has secured the services of Tony McCoy for his two runners on a rare midweek cross-channel venture for the Co Limerick handler at Wetherby today.

Fists Of Fury and Sea Of Thunder both sport the ubiquitous maroon and white silks of Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud. However, with O'Leary's retained rider Davy Russell on duty at Cork, Byrnes needed to look elsewhere for the raiding duo and the booking of the 15-time champion jockey is significant.

In the Beginners' Chase, Fists Of Fury, third behind last Sunday's impressive winner Last Instalment at Galway last time, should take all the beating, though Battle Group is a potentially dangerous rival.

Impressive when scoring over hurdles at Aintree in April, David Pipe's six-year-old will have been well schooled ahead of this chasing debut.

The novice hurdle that recent Thurles victor Sea Of Thunder contests is more tricky, with the Jason Maguire-ridden once-raced bumper winner Nodform Richard a threat, as is Hazy Tom. That one is also unbeaten for Charlie Longsdon, having added a maiden hurdle to two previous bumper triumphs at Aintree last month.

Still, with the official good to soft going likely to suit Sea Of Thunder, McCoy is fancied to send the Byrnes lorry back to the boat with a couple of winners on board. The only other Irish-based runner on the card is the un-raced Mia's Anthem, which represents Derry trainer Noel Kelly in the juvenile hurdle.

This evening at Kempton, David Marnane saddles Face Reality in a one-mile Listed race, while Shane Donoghue has Royal Intruder in a seven-furlong handicap. Neither horse is likely to be to the fore in the betting, but they aren't without place claims.

Irish Independent

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