Thursday 18 January 2018

Insatiable McCoy can hit the mark with Waaheb

Jockey Tony McCoy
Jockey Tony McCoy
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

TONY McCOY'S unquenchable thirst for winners sees him jet in to Fairyhouse this afternoon, having already punched in at Plumpton and Catterick since steering Upsie to victory at Naas on Sunday.

That willingness to frequent such remote British outposts has been the rock on which the Antrim native has chiselled his legend.

None of the 17-time champion's three mounts prevailed at either of the modest English venues, which are situated 500km apart at opposite ends of the country, but he is unlikely to depart Co Meath so deprived. Waaheb, the first of his three booked mounts in the opening conditions hurdle, ought to win at its leisure.

A triple bumper winner, Dermot Weld's JP McManus-owned six-year-old split Jezki and Bright New Dawn at Leopardstown after Christmas.

The precocious winner has since been acquired by McManus, though it is a measure of his muscle right now that his retained rider is likely to pass up the chance to ride Jessica Harrington's charge in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in favour of My Tent Or Yours.

Nonetheless, with Bright New Dawn having shown the form in a good light by subsequently chasing home Champagne Fever, Waaheb ought to make amends for his early tumble in the same Leopardstown Grade One.

Art Of Logistics and Midnight Oil are the pick of Waaheb's four rivals, but neither has done anything to suggest that it might thwart such a smart sort.

Western Man, McCoy's mount in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle, appeals as nap material.

A modest field of 11 tackles the Ladbrokes-sponsored heat. Having been collared close home when looking sure to win a Thurles beginners' chase two weeks ago, Western Man is the form option on his switch back to hurdles for Ronnie O'Leary.

McCoy's equivalent domestic title-holder Davy Russell might also bag a brace on the card, with Colin Bowe's Ma Belle Amie, second to Speckled Wood at Thurles a day earlier, setting a decent standard in the mares' maiden hurdle.

In the other maiden hurdle, Mouse Morris' War Correspondent, likewise an honourable second in handicap company at that Thurles fixture, should gain a win that its pedigree as a half-brother to War Of Attrition might suggest is overdue.

Irish Independent

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