Tony McCoy has three good chances at Ayr this afternoon.
The Tony McCoy farewell tour moves on to Ayr, where he has three booked rides.
He gets the leg up on Tim Easterby’s RUN RUCTIONS RUN in the extended 3m handicap hurdle for mares (4.10pm) and the six-year-old will find today’s company a lot easier than she faced in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham last time, when finishing 10th of the 23 runners. Previously, she’d finished second and third in competitive qualifiers at Haydock and Musselburgh respectively and a return to that level of form would likely be enough to see her back in the winners’ enclosure, with the booking of AP – 4-9 (44%) for the stable in the last five seasons – the absolute clincher for the bet at a tasty looking 7/1.
McCoy rides Capard King for his boss Jonjo O’Neill in the extended 3m handicap hurdle for novices (2.30pm) and the gelding is not without a chance, but I’m more interested in the champ’s third and final ride of the day, the Lucinda Russell-trained TAP NIGHT, who gets weight from all bar two of his rivals in the 2m4f handicap chase (3.05pm).
The eight-year-old is on a long losing streak with his last victory coming in a novice chase here in February 2013, but that was one of three course wins to his name and he has been a right chance by the handicapper to add to that tally. Having been as high as 153 in his novice season, he lines up today off just 128 and he’ll find today’s competition far easier than his last two starts in the Kim Muir and Betbright Chase. He may not be as straightforward a ride these days, admittedly, but if anyone can get him to win again it’s the champion jockey (will miss saying that!) and the 7/1 on offer that he does looks fair.
Oliver Sherwood, fresh from his Grand National success with Many Clouds, sends a small raiding party up to the Scottish track, and his CARRY ON SYDNEY can make the long journey pay in the closing 3m handicap hurdle (4.45pm). The trainer is an infrequent visitor here – just three runners in the last five seasons – but he’s clearly spotted an opportunity for the selection to get his head in front following three placed efforts. He’s been unfortunate to bump into well-handicapped / progressive types of each occasion, going down by just a length to Katgary at Newbury latest, and having proved he stays at least 2m5f he looks well worth a try over today’s longer trip. Aintree hero Leighton Aspell takes the ride.