Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

McCoy's record bid to ride 300 winners gathers pace

Whip hand: Tony McCoy rode 90th winner of the season yesterday, Manjakani at Newton Abbot, as his record-breaking 300 bid hots up

Tony McCoy stepped up his historic bid to ride 300 winners in a season when he hit the 90 mark yesterday – meaning he needs 10 more before September 4 for his fastest ever century.

McCoy rode Manjakani to victory in the SIS Novices Hurdle at Newton Abbot.

The prolific Ulsterman already holds the record of winners in a season – 289 in the 2001/2002 campaign.

The 40-year-old last month beat retired trainer Martin Pipe's monster tally of 4,191 winners.

McCoy, as stable jockey, rode most of Pipe's winners in the period between 1997 and 2004 before linking up with leading owner JP McManus.

McCoy has had a great season so far, notching his fastest ever half century of winners, and is already well on the way to a 20th successive champion jockey title, the season ending in April.

The Moneyglass man is 48 winners clear of closest rival Tom Scudamore.

The battle for second place promises to be much harder fought with perennial runner-up Richard Johnson moving to within one win of Scudamore with victory on Lamb Or Cod at Newton Abbot yesterday.

McCoy passed the unprecedented 4,000 winner mark last November and at his current strike rate would need only two more seasons to get close to 5,000.

If he can steer relatively injury-free, it is not beyond the iron man.

Meanwhile, six-time champion Flat jockey Kieren Fallon has hit back at comments made by television pundit Matt Chapman over one of his rides at Southwell last week.

Bwindi was beaten half a length into second at 8-13 with Chapman, according to Fallon, suggesting that the stewards should have looked into the ride.

Clare native Fallon, who was given a four-day ban for overuse of whip in the race, said: "I would love to challenge Chapman to push a horse the whole way round Southwell in the deep sand. He wouldn't get to the end of the straight."

Fallon, who misses Saturday week's Betfred Ebor at York due to the Southwell punishment, added: "When you are a top sportsman in any discipline you are always open to criticism, and when it is merited it is fair enough. But when you are slagged off by individuals who have no experience of what they are talking about – and Chapman has to be in that category – then it really angers me."

Richard Fahey could be doubly represented in the Ebor with Dr Marwan Koukash-owned runners.

Angel Gabrial won the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle in June.

Fahey said: "Angel Gabrial will also get an entry in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup on the Friday, so we will have a look at both races and make a decision closer to the time. He is in good order."

Shergar Cup winner Retirement Plan is another under consideration for the £265,000 Ebor.

Lady Cecil's Monsun colt finished fourth behind red-hot Ebor favourite Pallasator on his penultimate start at Ascot.

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