North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby only rarely books Tony McCoy for his horses, a fact confirmed by the most successful-ever jump jockey riding one winner from only three Easterby mounts in the last five years.
Today at Ayr the pair team up once more when McCoy takes the mount on Deepsand for Easterby in the opening BetVictor Maiden Hurdle, and the hint should be taken.
A Flat winner, owned by top jumping owner Trevor Hemmings, Deepsand has finished second in both his starts over hurdles, at Haydock and on this course last month when he lost no caste in defeat when chasing home the high-class Hidden Justice.
There is surely a race or two to be won with him over obstacles, and with McCoy on board for the first time, Deepsand is fancied to make it third time lucky.
McCoy’s trip to Ayr, where racing is subject to a precautionary 7.30am inspection, is mainly to ride Tap Night in the BetVictor.com Novices’ Chase.
Owned by McCoy’s employer, JP McManus, who has had deeply mixed luck lately, losing Champion Hurdle hope Darlan, but winning last Saturday’s richly-endowed Betfair Hurdle with the McCoy-ridden My Tent Or Yours, who is surely a star of future, Tap Night is on the compensation trail after a hefty defeat at Musselburgh last time out.
Sent off at odds-on, he finished last of four but that race was hardly run to his liking, being a slowly-run affair before a sprint developed over the final four fences. Today’s race should put more emphasis on stamina, which will be ideal for Tap Night, a 142-rated hurdler.
Successful on this course over the smaller obstacles on his comeback this season, Tap Night also won his chasing debut here. He is selected to get back on top this afternoon and put his latest defeat in the shade.
Lucinda Russell, trainer of Tap Night, can also score with Nuts N Bolts in the Money Back On Madrid Handicap Chase.
The gelding won by seven lengths here three weeks ago and, although he has more to do this time off his revised mark, this does not look the toughest of handicaps.
The consistent Sacre Toi (4.00) and Fine Rightly (5.00), who impressed when making a winning debut on this course six weeks ago, are two others to note.
At Southwell tomorrow, David Bergin looks to have a plum chance of adding to his two winners from four mounts this year.
The North Yorkshire apprentice, only two winners shy of reducing his claim to 5lb, partners Hiddon Coin in the coral.co.uk Claiming Stakes for his Nawton boss David O’Meara.
Winner of both his previous starts this season in similar company, Hiddon Coin looks good for his hat-trick.
Easydoesit, who won his first two races this season at Wolverhampton, came unstuck last week and looked an unlucky loser, getting going too late to catch the enterprisingly ridden Party Palace, who won by three-parts of a length.
Easydoesit is napped to get back on top tomorrow, racing off the same mark for trainer Tony Carroll.
Carroll also has good prospects with Rose Garnet (1.50), who has run creditably in both outings this year, while Point North (4.20), a close-up third last time out at Wolverhampton, may not need to improve much.
1.50 Deepsand, 2.20 Swatow Typhoon, 2.55 Ancient Times, 3.25 Tap Night, 4.00 Sacre Toi, 4.30 Nuts N Bolts, 5.00 Fine Rightly.
Today’s other meetings: Lingfield (inspection 8am) and Southwell.
1.50 Rose Garnet, 2.20 Mister Bob, 2.50 Honest Deal, 3.20 Hiddon Coin, 3.50 Piceno, 4.20 Point North, 4.50 Easydoesit (NAP).
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Lingfield, Musselburgh and Kempton.