Friday 15 November 2019

This is not a two-horse race, but I’m just hoping I’ve picked the right one

An aerial view of how close Tony McCoy's mount Get Me Out Of Here (number 9) came to winning the Coral Cup before being pipped by Whisper with Nico de Boinville on board
An aerial view of how close Tony McCoy's mount Get Me Out Of Here (number 9) came to winning the Coral Cup before being pipped by Whisper with Nico de Boinville on board

Tony McCoy

We came agonisingly close yet again with Get Me Out Of Here in the Coral Cup, just a short-head in it this time. I do not mind being touched off in the occasional close finish, but the horse deserved finally to win a race here – he has now been second four times at a Festival.

Goodwood Mirage took a heavy fall with me in the Fred Winter. It was too early to say how well we were going and all I have to show for it will be a few good bruises. I came off better than Bryan Cooper in the same race, that is for sure.

My big worry today is that, unlike on Tuesday, when I chose the wrong one in the Champion Hurdle, I may actually have made the wrong choice in two races.

I am not confident I am right by picking At Fishers Cross over More Of That in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3.20) or Colour Squadron over Tap Night in the Byrne Group Plate (4.0).

We kick off with Taquin De Seuil (1.30). I am slightly worried that the going has gone against him. I would really fancy him if it was soft or heavy, because I think that he is a better horse with give in the ground, but we have to play the cards we are dealt and he is still an each-way chance.

If In Doubt looks a good each-way bet in the Pertemps Network Final (2.05). He was beaten half a length by his stable companion Fingal Bay at Exeter on heavy ground last time and this track might help me because he is such a resolute stayer.

We are weighted to beat Fingal Bay, but I fear he is still well handicapped and I know Philip Hobbs has been talking up his chances. The ground should not be a problem for us.

Cantlow was declared to run in the Ryanair Chase (2.40), but after falling on Tuesday is now a non-runner, so I sit this race out. I reckon the three standout horses are Benefficient, Al Ferof and Dynaste.

In many people’s opinion the World Hurdle is a straight match between Big Buck’s and Annie Power. I beg to differ – I hope. Annie Power gets a 7lb mares’ allowance, which could be critical, but this race will be run at a right gallop and she has never run over further than two and a half miles. We know Big Buck’s is a great stayer and that tips the scale in his favour in my book.

However, I have been riding long enough to know that 11-runner races which are simplified to a match rarely turn out that way and I hope, although I am not confident, that I can spoil their ‘tea for two’ when I ride At Fishers Cross.

He won the Albert Bartlett here a year ago, does not mind decent ground and will improve for his last run when second to Knockara Beau in the Cleeve Hurdle. That was just about our first run of the season after he had effectively fallen twice. His jumping was much better last time and I am not worried about it today.

I hope I have chosen correctly. More Of That is, to all intents and purposes, a novice, but make no mistake, he is good. He has a lot of speed, but I feel At Fishers Cross will see out the trip better. Either way, I feel Big Buck’s is the one we all have to beat.

I could easily be wrong with my choice of Colour Squadron. The drying ground has improved the chances of my alternative Tap Night. Colour Squadron is a consistent type. He was a good third to Double Ross here last time, but truthfully, the worry is that he does not win too often. I hope that he will start to rectify that today.

In the Kim Muir (4.40) for amateurs I am very keen on Jonjo O’Neill’s runner Twirling Magnet which looks on a good mark. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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