Racing: McCoy closes in on a new record

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The Independent Online

Tony McCoy has six rides booked at Market Rasen today as he sets off in pursuit of his next record.

At Huntingdon on Saturday, the champion jumps jockey broke his own record for the number of winners ridden in a National Hunt season when Firetree gave him his 254th success of the current campaign. In the next race, McCoy took his score to 255 with a victory on Master Tern, also trained by Jonjo O'Neill.

The next target in his sights is the 269 winners ridden in a Flat season by Sir Gordon Richards. McCoy said: "They are two different times but it would be nice to become the winningmost jockey – and I would just be happy if next week [Cheltenham] goes well."

Fondmort remains firmly on course for Cheltenham's Irish Independent Arkle Trophy after pleasing Nicky Henderson in a racecourse gallop at Newbury yesterday morning.

The Lambourn trainer said, however, that Fondmort's stablemate Blue Royal, third in the 2000 Smurfit Champion Hurdle but so far unraced over fences, could miss the Arkle and be switched back to the smaller obstacles.

Henderson said: "I thought Fondmort did a really nice piece of work with Geos, who is in the Champion Hurdle. Fondmort seems in tremendous form, he's fresh and really buzzing. Geos worked well too and, with Landing Light working very nicely at home yesterday, they've done all the galloping and racing before next week.

"Mick Fitzgerald will ride Landing Light but I don't know about Geos as I haven't discussed it with anybody yet."

The official going at Cheltenham yesterday was still reported to be "soft" after only half-a-millimetre of rain.