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Joy for Mccoy on his return

Tony McCoy made the perfect return to action after injury as Church Field defied a penalty in the Lycetts Insurance Brokers Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Ludlow.

Back in the saddle four weeks after suffering broken ribs in a crashing fall from Quantitativeeasing at Cheltenham, McCoy looked relaxed on his way out to the paddock, stopping to sign autographs.

Having his first ride of the new jumps season, McCoy settled his mount just off the pace set by Duneen Dream before taking closer order down the far side.

Going on three out, he was joined by the strong-travelling Eightfold and briefly looked like having a fight on his hands.

McCoy and Church Field eventually gained the upper hand and, after negotiating the last safely, came home with five lengths in hand.

McCoy said: "It's nice to be back, you get fairly frustrated and pretty bored.

"The first week or 10 days when you are in hospital you don't really think about that, you think about getting back as soon as possible, but when your body starts to heal it gets a little bit irritating not being able to ride.

"I was pretty pleased to be back and it's nice of Jonjo (O'Neill) to put me on a winner. I had plenty of rest at home – you'd love to get a break in other ways but I always say as a jump jockey you're going to get enforced holidays, whether it be through injury or suspension.

"Hopefully that's mine out of the way.


"I rode somewhere near 900 horses last season between England and Ireland and there's a fair chance you are going to get falls. You always hope one of them doesn't leave you in hospital for a little while, but that's part of the game – you just get on with it.

"I'm looking forward to getting going a bit now."

Things did not go quite so smoothly later on the card, when McCoy's other mount, My Wigwam Or Yours, failed to trouble the judge in the concluding bumper.

The odds-on favourite was no match for the Oliver Sherwood-trained Lemony Bay, who held off Wintered Well by three-quarters of a length.