Tuesday 20 March 2018

The Liquidator shows class as McCoy draws blank

David Pipe
David Pipe

Nick Robson

ON a rare day that there was no winner for Tony McCoy, the yard with which he was associated for so long unleashed an exciting prospect over jumps at Carlisle.

McCoy had a longstanding and successful partnership with Martin Pipe, but it's the legendary trainer's son David who is now the master of Nicholshayne and he went north with high hopes for The Liquidator.

A top-class bumper performer, finishing fourth at Cheltenham and winning at Punchestown, the five-year-old took to his new discipline in very pleasing fashion. Always to the fore in the novice hurdle under Tom Scudamore, the 2/7 favourite's jumping was slick and fluent and his class enabled him to cruise to an 11-length triumph.

McCoy finished fourth aboard Spookydooky and his other mount on the card, Full Of Joy, was also fourth in the handicap chase.

That means he heads to Stratford today still requiring nine winners to reach the 4,000 landmark. Earlier, the Antrim native had ruled out any notion of retirement when he reaches 4,000 career wins over jumps.

Pipe and Scudamore, meanwhile, had earlier initiated a double with French import Azza (1/6 favourite) in the three-year-old hurdle. Winner of a Listed event on her first start over obstacles in her homeland, she outclassed her rivals but was not fluent in her jumping.

Pipe, however, has ruled Dynaste out of his intended seasonal reappearance at Wetherby on Saturday. Last season's top-class novice chaser was due to revert to timber for the bet365 Hurdle against At Fishers Cross and Tidal Bay.

But an unsatisfactory gallop earlier this week has prompted a change and his focus has now been switched to either the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham or Haydock's Betfair Chase.

"He's not going to run now at Wetherby. We are going to wait for the Paddy Power or the Betfair," Pipe explained.

"He worked a bit flat (on Tuesday) and we are now going to wait for one of the other two races. I was speaking to his owner earlier and I think we'll leave it until closer to the time (to decide).

"Preference had been for the Betfair at Haydock, but he is entered in the Paddy Power and is 5/2 favourite for that.

"We'll see how some other contenders get on this weekend at Wetherby and how our fellow is closer to the time. The King George is his main target for the first half of the season."

Irish Independent

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