Thursday 22 February 2018

McCoy can prise best from fishoutofwater

Tony McCoy and Rebecca Curtis have developed an excellent partnership in recent years, and the perennial champion jockey is down to ride two for the Welsh trainer at Worcester tomorrow.

Both horses are expected to take plenty of beating.

The least obvious of the pair is Fishoutofwater, which has managed no better than fifth in five outings over flights this term.

A bumper winner under McCoy in March 2010, Fishoutofwater went on to be fourth in a Grade Two novice hurdle at Aintree on his jumping debut.

However, for various reasons, he hasn't replicated that form since. When he reappeared at long odds-on at Ffos Las in January, mistakes put paid to his chance.

Why the son of Old Vic has continued to disappoint remains unclear, but it may be that a combination of less than fluent jumping and a need for further have something to do with it.

Each of Fishoutofwater's last four starts have been over two miles, and he made some bad errors early on when contesting his first handicap last time.

As a result, he has been dropped five pounds now, meaning that he gets into what is not a great 0-110 handicap off just 10st 5lb.

Maybe more importantly, Fishoutofwater is stepping up to three miles for a first time, so McCoy should have a much easier time getting him to hurdle effectively.

Scoter Fontaine is Curtis and McCoy's representative in the two-mile handicap hurdle. Although reserved for horses that are rated 0-130, this is also a contest that lacks strength in depth.

Scoter Fontaine should be able to take advantage. Another JP McManus-owned bumper winner that has not lived up to his potential yet, he has shown some decent bits of form.

Encouragingly, he turned in his best effort on similarly dry ground to that which he will encounter tomorrow when just run out of it at Ffos Las in March. If he can replicate that now, it might be enough.

Irish Independent

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