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Cheltenham: Joy and tears as Tony McCoy provides magic moment

By Steven Beacom

You can't keep a great man down. Tony McCoy may have had no victories in the opening two days of his final Cheltenham Festival, but he was always going to come good at some stage. And so it proved yesterday when the Moneyglass marvel romped home on Uxizandre in the Ryanair Chase.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house as a beaming AP entered the winner's enclosure to huge cheers. It was Tony's only winner of the day.

1.30pm: McCoy's afternoon didn't start too brightly when on board Colour Squadron (18/1) he finished eighth in the JLT Novices' Chase. Up ahead there was the familiar sight of success for the Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins double act with Vautour triumphant.

2.05pm: AP had hoped he'd open his account on 15/2 favourite Regal Encore in the Pertemps Network Final, but Call The Cops won with the champion jockey back in seventh.

2.40pm: And then the magic moment arrived in the Ryanair Chase thanks to 16/1 shot Uxizandre. In the Grade One race McCoy was at his brilliant best, hitting the front early and testing all those behind. They couldn't cope with the pace or jumping power of Uxizandre, owned by JP McManus.

How AP enjoyed the sprint to the line. When he hangs up his whip in the weeks to come, this is what he'll miss most, that winning feeling.

While mum Claire watched on TV and celebrated at home, AP's wife Chanelle, dad Peadar and his tearful family revelled in their man's big moment at the course.

Amid the emotion of it all, an image of McCoy appeared on the big screens at Cheltenham with the words 'We'll miss you AP'. Ain't that the truth.

3.20pm: Could At Fishers Cross (14/1) in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle give Tony successive wins? No. Cole Harden was victorious with McCoy in fourth.

4.00pm: In his final race of the day, the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate, Tony on Un Ace (11/1) finished 13th with Darna the winner.

Belfast Telegraph


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