Cheltenham Festival: AP McCoy makes late switch of mounts for Gold Cup
The champion jockey was down to ride JP McManus' horse Sunnyhill Boy but will now ride Sir Des Champs
Friday 15 March 2013
AP McCoy is now set to ride leading challenger Sir Des Champs in today’s Cheltenham Gold cup after making a late switch of mounts.
The champion jockey was down to ride JP McManus' horse Sunnyhill Boy, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, but the horse was withdrawn from the running this morning as a result of "an unsatisfactory scope", an indication that the horse was not 100% fit.
It is the second withdrawal in the last 24 hours after Bog Warrior also earlier pulled out of the race.
The Nicky Henderson-trained horse, Bobs Worth, winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup, is the early favourite for the 15:20 race, although McCoy's switch is sure to see interest increase in Sir Des Champs, who is just behind Bobs Worth in the betting and a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner.
The withdrawal of Bog Warrior is fortuitous for both McCoy, winner of last year's race on Synchronised, and trainer Willie Mullins who had been left without a jockey after Davy Russell's punctured lung ruled him out.
Mullins, who won three races on the opening day of the festival is hoping for his first Gold Cup win and the first Irish-trained winner since 2006.
Long Run a winner in 2011 is also in the field, ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen and the young Paul Nicholls-trained horse Silviniaco Conti is also considered to be in the running.
Henderson, who is the all-time leading festival trainer, goes into today's meeting in fine form having already won the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday and his horse Bobs Worth already has four Cheltenham wins under his belt.
Henderson said: "He missed a prep race, but the ground was so bad at the time - we've had soft ground since October.
"He's a good horse. He's proved he's a Grade One winner as a novice, but not in this league.
"Then again, it's a very open year."
Latest in Sport
England vs Lithuania: Roy Hodgson set to resist calls to start with Spurs striker Harry Kane
Paul Scholes: Frustrated Steven Gerrard should have started crucial game between Liverpool and Manchester United
Paul Scholes: It's amazing Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has so few caps for England
New kits for 2015/16: Have the Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona strips been leaked?
England vs Lithuania: Theo Walcott 'at risk of being left behind' in Three Lions pecking order
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Identifying and communicating issues raised, p...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To be responsible for working with the Caterin...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established industry leading business is l...
£22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...