Racing: Le Coudray shows Stayers' Hurdle style

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The Independent Online
LE COUDRAY, Aidan O'Brien's expensive import from France, took his first step towards a confrontation with Lady Rebecca and Deano's Beeno in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham with a bloodless victory on his Irish debut at Naas yesterday.

The five-year-old was left clear two flights out by the fall of Archive Footage, the Ladbroke Hurdle winner, and came home by 20 lengths from Limestone Lad. Archive Footage had appeared to be responding to strong driving from Tony McCoy but crashed on landing and Swan could afford a couple of looks over his shoulder before Le Coudray followed up his five wins last year in France.

McCoy emerged unscathed from that tumble and an earlier fall four fences out from Foxchapel King in the novice chase as they raced upsides the odds-on Rince Ri, who was left to come home unchallenged.

Less fortunate was Norman Williamson, despite a win on Nibalda in the handicap hurdle. Williamson took a heavy fall from The Vendor in the handicap chase and may have to rest for a couple of days. "I have punctured my right shoulder and it's pretty sore," he said.