Thursday 21 November 2019

McCoy steals show at Fairyhouse

Gilgamboa (right) jumps the last alongside Gitane Du Berlais and the grey Smashing
Gilgamboa (right) jumps the last alongside Gitane Du Berlais and the grey Smashing

Tony McCoy treated Fairyhouse racegoers to another masterclass as the soon-to-retire champion jockey produced Gilgamboa to claim victory in a pulsating Ryanair Gold Cup.

The legendary rider will call it a day at some stage within the next few weeks and after ruling out riding at the Punchestown Festival, his appearance in County Meath over the Easter weekend looks set to be his last as a jockey on Irish soil.

And he showed all in attendance just what they will be missing in his own inimitable way.

Gilgamboa was a 7-1 shot for the Grade One feature and success for Enda Bolger's stable star looked unlikely as the field straightened up for home.

Having led her rivals for much of the way, 5-4 favourite Gitane Du Berlais was still hard on the bridle and when Smashing ranged alongside at the third-last, that pair looked set to fight it out.

However, the complexion of the race changed dramatically as a huge leap at the last brought Gilgamboa right on terms.

Bolger's charge galloped all the way to the line to hold off The Tullow Tank, who came from the clouds to be beaten just half a length in second. Smashing was just ahead of Gitane Du Berlais in third.

McCoy said: "Fair play to Enda. He was a bit disappointing in Navan last time, but Enda had him in top shape. I'm delighted to ride a big winner for him before I retire.

"He might be horse for the Lexus at Christmas if he has his conditions. He'll be a nice ride for somebody, but it won't be me."

Bolger added: "Tony has ridden a few for me, but that's the first winner we've had together. It's great to win a race like this and to have that man on top.

"The ground was a big help. He just wasn't right the last day and Mark Walsh looked after him. I don't know whether he'll go to Punchestown for the three-mile novice or not."

McCoy was similarly brilliant earlier in the afternoon when Sir Scorpion justified 6-4 favouritism in the Gleesons Butchers Novice Handicap Hurdle.

PA Media

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