Mighty McCoy takes the high road on way to Ayr double
Tony McCoy endured an eventful journey up to Ayr, but it was worth it in the end as he won on his only two mounts, with Tap Night the undoubted highlight.
McCoy ended up on a flight to Edinburgh instead of Glasgow, over 80 miles from Ayr, but the perennial champion jockey still made it to the track with plenty of time to spare.
The Antrim native's first mount came on Tim Easterby's Deepsand which was made to work hard by Hallmark Star before justifying his 4/6 price as he won by a length.
However, it was for the JP McManus-owned Tap Night that McCoy made the long trek worthwhile after Lucinda Russell's six-year-old cruised to a cheeky win in the novice chase.
The first horse McManus has owned to be trained in Scotland, Tap Night holds entries in the Arkle and the Jewson at Cheltenham, but could switch to a handicap.
Despite conceding 7lb to The Tracey Shuffle, McCoy's mount travelled well and the jockey didn't have to get serious to win by a length and a half. "I've not really thought about Cheltenham," said Russell. "I'll speak to Frank (Berry, McManus' racing manager) and AP and see what they think."
It turned out to be an excellent day for Russell as she went on to complete a treble courtesy of Nuts N Bolts and Island Confusion.
Meanwhile, Donald McCain admits the Festival target for Peddlers Cross will become clearer after today's Howies Restaurants Edinburgh Hurdle at Musselburgh.
The former Champion Hurdle runner-up – which was running in novice chases last season – has his first run over timber since the 2011 Aintree Hurdle and McCain says the "ideal" trip of two miles and six furlongs should tell him whether to aim at the Champion Hurdle, the World Hurdle or wait for Aintree.