Injured McCoy may be back for the Festival

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The Independent Online
The jockey Tony McCoy's hopes of riding at the Cheltenham Festival were considerably raised yesterday by a positive bulletin on the injuries he sustained in a fall at Wincanton.

An examination of the bones he broke in a heavy tumble from Speedy Snapsgem gave the champion jockey "every reason to hope he will be ready for Cheltenham."

It was initially feared that McCoy, who suffered fractures in his left shoulder, faced a lengthy lay-off and would miss the biggest jumps meeting of the year.

But, following a visit to specialist Michael Foy in Swindon, his boss Toby Balding said the prognosis was "not at all gloomy".

"I've not heard directly from Tony but I understand he has every reason to hope he will be ready for Cheltenham," said the trainer. "He has got to go back to be looked at again in about three weeks time but this must be good news for him."

McCoy, 65 winners clear of Adrian Maguire in the defence of his jump jockeys' title, had hitherto enjoyed a virtually injury-free rise to the top.

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