Stewards not over moon after Planetoid lands big gamble
AN old-fashioned gamble was landed at Newton Abbott when Planetoid won in the hands of Tony McCoy, but the case also caught the eye of the stewards.
The extended two-mile handicap hurdle was only worth £2,463.84 to the winner, but those who backed Planetoid at morning prices of around 3/1 made plenty as the Jim Best-trained gelding cruised home.
McCoy (below) was a late booking for the winner as intended rider Mattie Bachelor had been unable to get to the Devon track and was duly replaced by the champion jockey.
Now with Best, after a reasonable career on the Flat with David Lanigan, the son of Galileo had shown precious little during the winter over hurdles and had been sent off at odds of 100/1, 66/1, 50/1, 66/1 and 33/1 on his last five starts.
Making his handicap debut after a break, Planetoid went off the 5/6 favourite and won by a comfortable five lengths.
"We always liked him when we got him, but his jumping was just terrible," the trainer explained.
"We haven't run him for six months, we've just worked on his jumping all that time and it's paid off. I think he has appreciated the better ground too.
"I feel sorry for Mattie, who couldn't get here, as he has done a lot of the work on him, but it was good to get AP. Hopefully, he can go on from this now and show himself to be the horse we hoped he'd be."
The stewards held an inquiry as to his apparent improvement.
Best stated much the same to them, reporting that "the gelding had problems with his jumping last year and has been given a break in order to reschool him over hurdles.
He further added: "Planetoid was suited by this quicker ground and running for the first time in a handicap."
His explanation was forwarded to the British Horseracing Authority and the gelding was routine tested.
McCoy (left) didn't have long to celebrate the win as he was brought back down to earth in the following contest when taking a heavy fall from Amuse Me, though he was unscathed.