Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 14 December 2017

McCoy to ride on through pain

TONY McCOY is expected to ride at Ascot today despite sustaining a nasty facial injury at Wetherby.

McCoy suffered the damage when the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Mr Watson, which was favourite for the opening maiden, was keen going to post and unshipped the 17-times champion jockey.

McCoy looked uncomfortable on the turf and was attended to by paramedics, but rose to his feet and walked to an ambulance . He was subsequently stood down for the rest of the day.

Afterwards McCoy took to Twitter to reassure fans of his well-being. "Thanks for the messages, my injury is very superficial, just broke a few teeth and needed some stitches," he tweeted. "Will be back to work tomorrow."

With Mr Watson withdrawn from the race, victory in the contest went to Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies as African Gold (2/1) battled on well to edge out Beeves.

Ruby Walsh teamed up with Paul Nicholls to capture the Listed Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle, with French recruit Sametegal justifying odds-on favouritism with a slick round of jumping.

A winner at Enghien when trained by Guillaume Macaire, the three-year-old was the 1/2 favourite on his first start for the British champion trainer.

Alan King's Bless The Wings looks set to make his mark in some decent handicap chases this season after making a winning return to action.

The seven-year-old showed some smart form in the first half of his novice campaign over fences, but disappointed when fancied at the Cheltenham Festival and failed to fire at Market Rasen in May.


A summer break has done him no harm. He travelled nicely throughout the bet365 Handicap Chase, tracking Gansey into the home straight under Wayne Hutchinson.

Gansey proved a willing adversary, but 11/4 favourite Bless The Wings was winning the argument by the time they jumped the final fence and he kicked clear on the run-in to take the Listed prize by two and a half lengths.

At Newmarket, Melbourne Memories benefited from a powerful Paul Hanagan ride as she tasted Listed glory in the Bosra Sham Fillies' Stakes. A winner at Ascot last time, Hanagan took the Clive Cox-trained filly to the far side of the track as the 16-runner field split into two and she raced prominently throughout.

While Tassel tried to spearhead the challenge up the stands-side rail, the far side group always looked to hold the advantage and Melbourne Memories appeared to be in control a furlong out.

However, Hoodna did her best to challenge up the inside rail while Effie B was flying down the far side of the track. The 9/1 shot held on for Hanagan, though, triumphing by a length and a half from Effie B despite running around a bit in front.

"She appreciated the ground and is bred by the owners, which is nice," Cox said. "A Listed win is very important to them. I don't think there's anything to achieve by running her again this season, but she'll get an extra furlong and could appear in something like the Fred Darling."

Hanagan was to also visit the winner's enclosure just over 30 minutes later as he guided Bridle Belle (9/1) to a battling success over Varnish for his former retainer, Richard Fahey.

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