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McCoy eyes double ton but he’s not in mood to celebrate

A winner at Stratford saw Tony McCoy reach 199 for the season on the eve of the Cheltenham Festival— but his mount Remember Now left him feeling anything but joyful.

In fact it was more of a cruel reminder as the chestnut is a half-brother to Binocular, who was taken out of the Champion Hurdle at the final hour when it emerged he had been receiving medical treatment for an allergy.

Last year's hero was easily McCoy's biggest hope at the showpiece meeting and the most driven of all jockeys was naturally devastated by the setback.

Remember When also represents trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus, but bears no further similarity to his sibling.

He looked like easily justifying his position as 5-2 joint-favourite at the top of the straight in the Daily Nicholls Festival Column Handicap Hurdle but was very nearly caught out on the line by Tatispout.

“That's the nearest he's ever going to get to Binocular,” rued McCoy. Earlier in the day, the Moneyglass man spoke of his frustration at the withdrawal of Binocular.

“I don't think I have ever felt so low going into a Cheltenham Festival as I did on hearing the news that Binocular, my best ride of the meeting, was out. I only found out late on Saturday night when (owner) JP McManus rang to tell me and then Nicky Henderson phoned on Sunday morning to confirm it.

“I am gutted. I feel completely hollow and will now watch the race on the TV on the changing room.

“I hate sitting out championship races.

“There will, I am sure, be plenty of downers during the week but this was a kick in the groin before it had even started.

“It is tough enough to ride winners here and I have said all along that my week seemed utterly dependent on how he ran in the Champion.

“It has taken gloss off the race. It's a good contest but, whatever your opinions, it was still hard to get away from him.”

Belfast Telegraph

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