With the Flat turf season closing down today at Doncaster today, it’s jumping action tomorrow and a very real possibility of the greatest jump jockey of all-time enjoying a bumper afternoon at Ffos Las.
The inimitable Tony McCoy is not only a brilliant rider, but an iron man. It was only just over a week ago that he was kicked in the face by a horse at Wetherby and had 24 stitches inserted around his nose and mouth at York Hospital before undergoing emergency dental treatment later in the evening.
The fact that he turned out the next day at Ascot and rode a winner and has continued to ride every day since is testament to McCoy’s remarkable appetite for his chosen profession.
Tomorrow at Ffos Las, McCoy has a whole host of winning chances and could, quite possibly, have five winners.
He kicks off with At Fishers Cross (12.55), winner of a bumper and a hurdle last season, who looks the type to go on to better things this season.
Rebecca Curtis, trainer of At Fishers Cross, also provides McCoy with Boyfromnowhere (1.25), already a winner this season and second at Stratford last time out.
Celtus (2.30), trained by the all-conquering Nicky Henderson, is McCoy’s mount in the beginners’ chase while, in the handicap hurdle, the perennial champion jockey will be aboard Wayward Glance (3.05), who has been nothing if not consistent in his last half-dozen races.
McCoy finishes off with another Curtis-trained runner, Castle Beach (4.10), a newcomer, but a nicely-bred gelding who hails from a stable with a good record in this type of race.
At Market Rasen, the nap vote is awarded to Barrakilla in the ABF Soldiers Charity Novices’ Hurdle.
Trained in Wales by Evan Williams, the five-year-old, second in good bumper company last season on his only start, went down by half a length to Thomas Crapper on his hurdling debut at Worcester a month ago.
He looks a bit of a handful in that he’s keen and liable to hang, but he has a heap of ability and this looks a good opportunity for him.
Anything John Quinn switches to jumps from the Flat is always worthy of attention and Kashmir Peak fits that bill in the opening Market Rasen Young Farmers Club Juvenile Hurdle.
A new recruit to Quinn’s Norton yard, Kashmir Peak was previously trained in Ireland by Ger Lyons, where he was a winner on the Flat at Navan in May. A horse who elevated himself to an 80-rated performer on the level, he ticks most of the right boxes as a potential hurdler. Dougie Costello has the mount.
David Pipe sends My Brother Sylvest to Lincolnshire to contest the Victor Lucas Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase.
The West Country raider ran as though needing the outing at Kempton three weeks ago after his summer break. He set a strong gallop that day before weakening into third on his first start since August. He should strip fitter tomorrow.
Brian Ellison saddles Artisan in the Royal British Legion ‘Hands And Heels’ Handicap Hurdle.
Although he has yet to win over hurdles in five attempts, the Norton gelding did win on the Flat at Catterick in September and he has shown enough over timber to suggest he can make his presence felt in this modest event.
Ffos Las (tomorrow)
12.55 At Fishers Cross, 1.25 Boyfromnowhere, 2.00 Whatshallwedo, 2.30 Celtus, 3.05 Wayward Glance, 3.40 Qualviro, 4.10 Castle Beach.
Market Rasen (tomorrow)
1.10 Kashmir Peak, 1.40 Barrakilla (NAP), 2.15 My Brother Sylvest, 2.45 I’m The Decider, 3.20 Wishes Or Watches, 3.50 Artisan.
Today’s meetings: Doncaster, Kelso, Sandown and Wincanton.