Saturday 16 December 2017

Champion jockey reckons 'Quevega' is the banker

CHAMPION JOCKEY A.P. McCoy thinks 'Quevega' is the punters' best friend at this year's Festival, while the horse he is looking most forward to riding is Champion Hurdle hopeful, 'My Tent Or Yours'.

'I'm pleased to report that 'My Tent Or Yours' is on course for the Champion Hurdle after his little scare last week,' McCoy writes on his Cheltenham blog. 'He obviously just stood on something, which does happen, but Nicky Henderson is very happy with him and that's good news. It didn't interfere with his work at all.

'My Tent', like 'Our Conor', 'The New One' and 'Jezki', all have chances but 'Hurricane Fly' has been there, done it and is the one to beat. Saying that, I am very happy to be riding 'My Tent' and looking back he was a totally different horse at Kempton on Boxing Day than he was at Newcastle earlier in the season, even though he was impressive at Newcastle. Hopefully he can improve again from Kempton and Nicky Henderson's record training Champion Hurdle horses speaks for itself.

'It is looking like I will kick off the meeting on 'Gilgamboa' in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He won the Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown last time and probably needs to improve but he does have an outside chance. The likes of 'Irving' and 'Vautour' are going to be well fancied but I think it's an open Supreme so you never know.'

Another that McCoy is looking forward to riding this week is last year's Galway Plate winner, 'Carlingford Lough'. 'He has a chance of making the first three in the RSA,' he writes. 'He is a very solid 151 horse and will run to that mark all day long; it is just whether one of the others can step up again. He was staying on nicely the last day at Leopardstown when I fell off him against 'Ballycasey'. The longer trip will suit 'Ballycasey' but it will also suit my horse and I think he will be there or thereabouts.'

McCoy has opted to ride 'At Fisher's Cross' over 'More Of That' in Thursday's World Hurdle. 'I felt 'At Fishers Cross' was much more like his old self at Cheltenham on Trials Day, and while he needs to step up again things are going the right way. Rebecca Curtis has been very happy with him since and believes he has turned a corner.

'I think 'Big Buck's is the one we have to beat because of the way the race is going to be run and 'Annie Power' will have to prove that she really stays – and she will really need to stay. It would be different if 'Big Buck's was going out there on his own as he would have to make it a test of stamina but he is going to get plenty of help on that score.'

McCoy partners 'Teaforthree' for Curtis in the Gold Cup and while he thinks the winner of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase will be a good ride, he feels 'Bobs Worth' will be very hard to beat.

And the Champion Jockey's banker of the week? 'If you're after the most likely winner of the week it has to be 'Quevega',' he concludes. 'On ratings, and what those mares have achieved, she is a long way ahead and has been there and done it for the last five years. I know she is a bit older but so long as she retains her ability she will win.'

Wexford People

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