Tensile flop proves stressful for McCoy

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The Independent Online

Flops by two odds-on chances were costly for favourite backers and Tony McCoy, the champion jockey, at Newton Abbot yesterday. McCoy had strong hopes of a treble after partnering Take Control, the 2-9 winner of the first race. But he was then beaten on a 4-11 shot, Rescator, as well as on Tensile, a 5-6 chance.

Flops by two odds-on chances were costly for favourite backers and Tony McCoy, the champion jockey, at Newton Abbot yesterday. McCoy had strong hopes of a treble after partnering Take Control, the 2-9 winner of the first race. But he was then beaten on a 4-11 shot, Rescator, as well as on Tensile, a 5-6 chance.

Rescator was all the rage in the betting ring, but finished a very disappointing fourth, beaten a total of 26 lengths.

The cramped odds meant that the winner, Houghton Bay, wound up at a starting price of 13-2. Houghton Bay, who was blinkered for the first time, was ridden by Jimmy McCarthy. Houghton Bay is owned by Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd.

Oliver Sherwood, the winner's trainer, is not a gambling man but said: "I very seldom bet, but I couldn't believe his price when I saw he was 6-1, 7-1, and I nearly had a few quid on as I thought he would be about 5-2. Needless to say I didn't."

The failure of Rescator, a Martin Pipe-trained grey, was just the beginning of a frustrating afternoon for McCoy.

Tensile dived through the last hurdle when challenging for the lead and was then held on the run-in by Arlas. Arlas, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by a conditional jockey, Sam Stronge, was switching back to hurdles after being brought down over fences last time.

McCoy's mount Rightsaidfred was pulled up when out of contention in the staying handicap chase won by Raffles Rooster, and the Irishman's ride in the final event, Chippewa, was a well-beaten runner-up behind Allegiance.

In this season's jump jockeys' title race, McCoy is now three clear of his main challenger, Richard Johnson, who drew a blank yesterday.

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