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McCoy double... now for seven

By Frank Brownlow

Tony McCoy tuned up for a hectic day at Wetherby with a double at Doncaster, winning on board Highland Retreat and Saint Charles.

McCoy is booked to ride in all seven races at Wetherby today - a stunning seven-timer would pay odds of over 50,000-1.

The prolific Ulsterman - who took time out at Doncester yesterday for a chat with racing enthusiast and Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson - rides Adam Du Breteau, Red Devil Boys, Kayf Blanco, Bold Henry, Attwaal, Arctic Ben and Burma.

The 40-year-old - closing in on an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title - has now racked up a tally of 182 winners this season.

Harry Fry is thinking of a trip to Ireland with Highland Retreat after the 5-6 favourite hung on grimly from Emily Gray in the Betdaq No Premium Charge Mares Chase.

The Listed event had been saved from the abandoned meeting on December 29.

Given a positive ride by McCoy over a trip short of her best, Highland Retreat saw off main market rival Pepite Rose but Kim Bailey's Emily Gray, having been nearly tailed off, came with a wet sail and only failed by a nose.

"I thought AP got his fractions just right," joked Fry.

"I'm delighted as we picked out this race a long time ago for her," he added.

"We might take her to Limerick now, there's a Grade Two for mares over two-six which might suit her."

McCoy said: "She was idling a bit in front but I had ridden her to beat Aidan (Coleman, on Pepite Rose) so I'm not sure if she had much left.

"Harry told me to be very positive as she stays much further. She was brave."

McCoy had earlier taken the opener on Nicky Henderson's Saint Charles in the Betdaq Maiden Hurdle.

The former point-to-point winner finished fourth on his hurdling debut at Ascot and looks a nice prospect.

"At least he showed more than when I rode him in a bumper last season and he was tailed off," said McCoy of the 9-4 favourite.

"Barry (Gergahty) was a bit disappointed with him at Ascot to be honest but he showed a lot more," he added.

"That was two-three but he's not short of pace, he could easily drop down to two miles. He jumped well apart from the fourth-last."

Meanwhile, David Bridgwater last night issued an unreserved apology for remarks made on Wednesday about the Ludlow stewards and the BHA.

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