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McCoy lands four-timer

By Chris McGrath

Tony McCoy stole the show on Leicester's all-hurdle card with a near 29-1 four-timer from five rides to take his tally for the campaign to 155.

Two of his winners, Schism and Amuse Me, were for his main patron Jonjo O'Neill while Nicky Henderson's Zama Zama and Phoenix Flight from the James Evans stable provided the rest of the ammunition.

The Ulsterman's spree began with Schism (3-1) in the Leicester Juvenile Fillies Hurdle.

The 16-times champion doubled up on Amuse Me (3-1) in the Waltham On The Wolds Handicap Hurdle for O'Neill, who also struck with Canal Bank at Market Rasen.

Zama Zama obliged as a 2-11 hotpot should, taking the Mountsorrel Maiden Hurdle by six lengths without coming out of second gear to continue Henderson's fine run.

Phoenix Flight (4-7) completed the quartet in the Knighton Novices Hurdle.

McCoy's only losing ride came on odds-on shot Kells Belle, who had to settle for second behind Fiendish Flame (11-2) in the Vale Of Belvoir Handicap Hurdle for Jennie Candlish.

Already disparaged as inferior to a crop that has barely begun its own journey to the same race, last season's novice chasers today vest their wounded pride in one who was himself damned with faint praise even when winning the RSA Chase.

The success of Bostons Angel at Cheltenham last March was immediately dismissed as gutsy opportunism, the eventual protagonists having staggered up the hill as though abashed by their inferiority to rivals who had variously run below form, or failed to get round.

That view, though, paid scant regard to the jumping and courage that had already secured him two Grade One prizes back in Ireland and it would be gratifying to see Bostons Angel lend renewed validity to the billing of the Sportingbet Future Stars Chase at Sandown this afternoon.

Having ejected Robbie Power just as his comeback race was beginning to take shape at last month’s Down Royal Festival — where he won last year — Bostons Angel is reckoned by his trainer to need this run to put him straight for the Lexus Chase at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

“He was still going well at Down Royal when he made the mistake,” Jessica Harrington said.

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