Champion McCoy turns Journeyman

In the eyes of the public, there could hardly be a less appropriately named mount for the newly crowned Sports Personality of the Year as he gets back to the day job he so loves. In stark contrast to Sunday night's glittering suited and booted occasion at the NEC, AP McCoy's arena this afternoon is Kempton, a functional racetrack built on a former gravel pit in the London suburb. And his first scheduled ride is on an as yet undistinguished gelding named Journeyman.

The 15-times champion is delighted to be back in action, as will his weighing-room colleagues, even if it is on a card restricted to bumpers, which are flat races for jumping horses. "When the weather closed in," he said yesterday, "the first few days off were quite nice, because I'd had a few falls and I was quite sore. But now it's just depressing as we've missed so many races. Racing is what we all love doing, so the sooner we get back the better."

Staff at Kempton spent yesterday scraping snow and ice off the artificial surface, but with more snow forecast, the meeting, organised to allow jump trainers to give their charges a leg-stretch, is subject to a morning inspection.

Whatever happens today at the Sunbury track, just two miles from beleaguered Heathrow, next week's more important prizes are highly unlikely to be decided, if betting markets are a guide. Ladbrokes make the Boxing Day meeting, featuring the King George VI Chase, a 4-7 shot to be called off.

Sport in Ireland is apparently a better bet; the cards at Leopardstown and Limerick are 5-4 to go ahead. But McCoy may have to wait another year to fulfil another of his ambitions. He has now won all the major Grand Nationals in these isles bar the Welsh version at Chepstow, traditionally held on the day after Boxing Day. But that card, too, is an odds-on shot to fall to the weather.

Should Kempton beat the freeze, Kauto Star, a no longer price than evens to win an unprecedented fifth King George, will face a maximum of 13 rivals, with no surprise absentees among those declared for the William Hill-sponsored Grade One three-miler at yesterday's penultimate stage.

Turf account

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Vertige Dore (1.50 Kempton) Successful and experienced bumper performer for two top yards who reverts to the level after a debut hurdles success.



Next best

Nazreef (2.05 Southwell) Scored by an eased-down 11 lengths over today's course six days ago and his rise in the ratings should not stop a follow-up.



One to watch

Look out for French-bred four-year-old Batonnier (A King) when weather relents.

Hyperion selections

Kempton

12.50 Journeyman 1.20 Dark Lover 1.50 Sire De Grugy 2.20 National Trust 2.50 Eradicate 3.20 Harry Tricker 3.50 Noland

Southwell

12.35 Silk Slippers 1.05 Kheley 1.35 Songjjang 2.05 Xilerator 2.35 Eastern Hills 3.05 Shifting Gold 3.35 Abulharith

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea