McCoy weighs in with a winner

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The Independent Online

Tony McCoy made a successful return to action at Southwell yesterday after being out of action for 21 days following a fall at the Nottinghamshire track which resulted in concussion.

Tony McCoy made a successful return to action at Southwell yesterday after being out of action for 21 days following a fall at the Nottinghamshire track which resulted in concussion.

The bad news for his rivals, particularly Richard Johnson, who had crept ahead in the race for the jockeys' championship with 47 victories to McCoy's 38, and who was also successful at Southwell yesterday, was that McCoy looked as sharp as ever in steering home the 1-5 chance Suvertica in the novices' hurdle.

"I went to Barcelona and played a bit of golf," McCoy said, "but I've been bored. I've had enough holiday for a while.

"I'm feeling good - a little bit heavier than I was when I last rode. I've got down to 10st 7lb now, but I was 11st 4lb to 11st 5lb. You have to let it go at some stage and the summer is as good a time as any."

Danoli, one of the most popular horses of recent years, has been retired at the age of 12 after winning 17 of his 32 races. His victories included the 1994 Sun Alliance Hurdle, two Aintree Hurdles and the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

After his second victory at Aintree Danoli suffered a fractured fetlock and underwent life-saving surgery at Liverpool University Veterinary School.

His trainer, Tom Foley, said: "He has retired sound. If we had raced him again and he'd had a fall that might not have been the case. I let him out in the field this morning and he sprinted away like a two-year-old - he's just perfect."

* Frankie Dettori rides the Derby fourth Best Of The Bests for Godolphin in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville today. The colt finished fourth to Beat Hollow in the Grand Prix de Paris on his latest start.

* Godolphin's Slickly and Philip Mitchell's Running Stag are on course for the Arlington Million in Chicago on Saturday. Gerard Butler's Compton Bolter runs in the Secretariat Stakes and Mick Ryan's Diamond White in the Beverly D Stakes on the same card.

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