Tuesday 12 December 2017

Tony McCoy to take pre-Cheltenham break after seven-month-old son underwent cardiac surgery

AP McCoy with Archie last year
AP McCoy with Archie last year

Tony McCoy will take Sunday and Monday off before the Cheltenham Festival to be in hospital with seven-month-old son Archie, who underwent cardiac surgery on Friday.

McCoy said the build-up to this year's Festival had been the "most difficult" of his career.

Writing in is column for The Daily Telegraph, McCoy said: "As any parent will know, the health of their children is paramount.

"Archie had recently been diagnosed with a bronchial tube narrowing, which was restricting the air flow to and from his lung.

"At the Portland, he is in the good hands of cardiologist Professor John Deanfield.

"Consequently, though I intend to ride at Sandown today, I will not be riding tomorrow or Monday as I will be with Chanelle (wife) and Archie in hospital.

"I would probably have taken the days off to freshen up for Cheltenham anyway."

Looking to Cheltenham, McCoy said that he is likely to ride Gilgamboa for Enda Bolger in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle that gets the meeting under way on Tuesday, and that all was well with Stan James Champion Hurdle contender My Tent Or Yours, who suffered a minor scare earlier in the week.

McCoy said of the latter: "Nicky Henderson, who is a notoriously bad sleeper in the build-up to Cheltenham, is not losing sleep over him."

McCoy's great friend and rival Ruby Walsh will sit out the weekend action in Ireland on the insistence of boss Willie Mullins.

Walsh said the original plan had been to skip the chase events and ride in just one hurdle race at Gowran this afternoon, and likewise one at Naas on Sunday.

In his Irish Examiner column, Walsh explained: "When I thought I was going to be confined to the two hurdle races, I wasn't disappointed and didn't complain.

"And then when he (Mullins) informed me that I wasn't to risk riding at all, I have to say I was more than pleased.

"I've been careful about the rides I've taken over the last 10 days or so and I'd be most upset, to put it mildly, if something silly happened during the next two days that forced me to miss Cheltenham."

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