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Wincanton: Favourites can take Tony McCoy to landmark

Tony McCoy has a great chance of hitting the 200 winner mark for the season when he rides three favourites at Wincanton today.

McCoy — on board favourite Binocular in the Cheltenham Festival’s opening day feature, the Champion Hurdle, on Tuesday — has 198 winners to his credit as he closes in on a record 16th successive champion jockey title.

The Ulsterman is a whopping 62 ahead of his closest rival for the title Richard Johnson.

It will be no surprise if the BBC Sports Personality of the Year hits the 200 mark today given a book of rides that includes Kells Belle (7-4), Thanks For Coming (8-11) and Sizing India (5-2).

The season ends on April 23 and the 36-year-old already has more winners than he has had in the last five campaigns, although he is still well short of his record of 289 set in 2002.

McCoy, meanwhile, is endorsing a report into the future of racing, released today by bookmaker Paddy Power.

Jockeys in lycra and helmet-cams are part of the future of racing, according to the report.

While the sport may often be accused of being stuck in the past, the proposals in this white paper will place the ‘sport of kings’ firmly in the fast lane and introduce racing to a whole new generation of fans.

The report states that new technology in years to come can improve performances of the jockey and horse, and give punters a more interactive and engaging experience.

Whether this means on-board cameras on the horse or new aerodynamic kits, these are exciting times.

McCoy has already showcased what future silks could look like at trainer Jonjo O’Neill’s impressive Jackdaws Castle facility.

Some technologies are already being implemented.

Smartphone Apps aiding punters on betting decisions and providing on-board views from the jockey’s visor could be just round the corner.

McCoy advocates the introduction of new technologies in racing.

He said: “We’ve seen improvements in F1, cycling and swimming in recent years with more aerodynamic shapes and materials and Paddy Power think these technologies could work in racing.

“As far as I’m concerned racing should welcome any developments that help push the boundaries, give fans a more interactive experience and introduce new people to the sport.

“I love the idea that punters who have backed me can ride o-board during the race.”

Meanwhile Ruby Walsh intends to be back in the saddle tomorrow after needing two stitches to a cut eye following a nasty fall at Naas on Wednesday.

Walsh had a nasty scare just days before the start of the Cheltenham Festival when taking a tumble from King Of The Refs at the final flight in the Tote Jackpot Maiden Hurdle.

He only returned to action last Friday after being sidelined for four months with a double fracture of his right leg — sustained in a fall at the Down Royal Festival — and has yet to ride a winner since.

His planned rides at Sandown tomorrow include Tito Bustillo in the Paddy Power Imperial Cup.

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