Monday 19 February 2018

'Unhappy' McCoy claims another first

Thomas Kelly

There is not much that Tony McCoy has not achieved, but yesterday's novice chase at lowly Southwell did provide him with one new experience when he partnered Larks Lad to the first walkover of his 20-year career.

Nicky Henderson's gelding was left to complete the formality of a trot past the post to collect £2,800 in prize money for owner Trevor Hemmings after his sole rival was withdrawn.

"It's hard to believe I've had all those winners without any walkovers. Hopefully, there will be a few more to come," McCoy quipped.

The 16-times champion jump jockey -- who won the closing novice hurdle on Henderson's odds-on Speed Master -- also reflected on the five-day ban he incurred for breaching the new whip rules at Ffos Las on Sunday.

He was found to have used his whip once more than the permitted eight times on Jonjo O'Neill's Caddie Master, runner-up in a three-mile hurdle.

"It's become a bit repetitive. You just worry that sometimes the best horse is not winning," he went on. "You've got punters who are not happy and owners not happy and jockeys not happy. We are the ones doing our best and we get punished the most, obviously."

Connections of Saturday's Down Royal winner Kauto Stone are keeping their feet on the ground after Kauto Star's half-brother made a scintillating start to his chasing career with Paul Nicholls.

The French import, owned by Robin Geffen, may run again next month in either the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown or the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon. He will also be given an entry in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Meanwhile, Paul Webber is eyeing a crack at the Hennessy Gold Cup for Sarando after he turned in a fine round of jumping to land yesterday's Graduation Chase at Carlisle.

The six-year-old 7/2 shot headed north to Cumbria following a pipe-opener on the Flat at Newbury just over a fortnight ago and produced some prodigious leaps under Will Kennedy in an 11-length success.

Stan James make the gelding 14/1 from 25/1 for the Hennessy at Newbury on November 26, but Victor Chandler still offer 25s having trimmed his odds from 33/1.

Irish Independent

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