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Tony McCoy shrugs off horror fall

By Frank Brownlow

Tony McCoy lived up to his iron man tag yesterday when, after a crunching fall in which a horse had stood on his chest, the prolific Ulsterman returned to action half an hour later to win the very next race.

The 40-year-old, closing in on an incredible 20th successive champion jockey title, won the 3.20 at Worcester on board Ozzy Thomas before being fired into the ground from Flemenson in the 3.50. Sur La Mer was in close pursuit and stood on McCoy's chest.

After a few anxious moments, jockey and horse were on their feet, with McCoy – who also suffered a leg injury in the fall – changing into the colours of Full Throttle for the 4.20, where the 10-11 favourite was an easy winner.

A visibly shaken McCoy, speaking after the second win, explained: "He (Sur La Mer) stood on my chest and I got a kick in my leg which I've got a couple of stitches in.

"I'm pretty sore so I'd say I'm done now for the day.

"I couldn't do much there, I was a passenger."

McCoy later passed up the mounts on Jonjo O'Neill's Downtown Manhattan and Laura Mongan's Stay In My Heart.

The Moneyglass man, awarded an honorary degree by the University of Ulster this week, is having one of the best ever seasons of his illustrious career.

Little over two months into the new season, McCoy already looks uncatchable in the title race with 69 winners, a lead of 42.

If McCoy continues at that sort of pace he could break the 300 mark for the season, the Ulsterman holding the current record of 289.

He passed the unprecedented 4,000 career winner mark last year and could conceivably hit 5,000 with another couple of seasons in the saddle.

Meanwhile, Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver won the concluding Bobbyjo Handicap at Fairyhouse last night with Panama Hat, ridden by Chris Hayes. The winner was a tasty 9-2.

Tobann – trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning – won the feature Group Three Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes.

The legendary Sir Peter O'Sullevan last night led the condemnation after Goodwood announced it will end a 174-year tradition by axing the title Stewards' Cup from one of Britain's top handicaps.

The Glorious Goodwood race, due to take place in a month's time, will be rebranded as the 32Red Cup following a sponsorship agreement with the bookmaker.

"Don't let them do it," pleaded O'Sullevan, 96, who remembered he first called the race in 1952 when Smokey Eyes won.

"It will sweep away many years of great tradition," added the commentating great.

"Racing, to its detriment, has extravagantly pandered to the wishes of sponsors and this is another example."

But Goodwood's managing director Adam Waterworth defended the decision.

"It's something that was very important to the sponsor in this case," he said.

"We've always had sponsors and commercial partners at Goodwood as most courses do.

"Part of the negotiation with those sponsorships does involve the race names.

"This was part of the negotiations we had with 32Red and it was very important to them that they felt they could put their stamp on the race, so hence the renaming.

"They feel from a value point of view one of the concerns is if the Stewards' Cup name remained in there people would simply refer to the race as the Stewards' Cup rather than using the sponsor's name.

"They're prepared to invest a significant amount of money into the race and they feel it's important they get the opportunity to rename the race to make sure they get the coverage they expect for sponsoring such an important race."

Belfast Telegraph


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