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Tony McCoy to partner Starluck

Tony McCoy will partner Starluck on his chasing debut at Huntingdon on Thursday with a view to riding him in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham.

The six-year-old was last seen finishing third in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton but he is now set for a late-season switch to the larger obstacles.

With regular rider Timmy Murphy set to partner leading fancy Ghizao at Cheltenham, trainer Alan Fleming has been on the lookout for a new jockey and is delighted to have secured the services of the 15-times champion.

“All going well, he'll run on Thursday and he's in good form,” said Fleming. “Obviously he's best on good ground but he'll run on soft. He'll go just as long as it's not heavy.”

McCoy has the chance to add to his trophy cabinet with three more ‘racing Oscars' up for grabs at this year's 21st Lesters extravaganza.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year already has 16 Lesters and was nominated yesterday for three more, in the categories of jumps jockey of the year, ride of the year for his Grand National win on Don't Push It and the special recognition award.

“The winners will be announced at a glittering bash in Birmingham on April 21, the day before Good Friday, a blank raceday.

The Cumberland Show 16th July Handicap Chase claimed the headlines for all the wrong reasons at Carlisle yesterday after an unfortunate incident led to the race being abandoned midway through the contest.

Top-weight Star Player collapsed on the flat in the early stages of the three-and-a-half mile test with what turned out to be a fatal injury for the animal.

It was soon realised that the field would be unable to go around the stricken horse, who had suffered a broken leg, and the remaining jockeys were waved around the 11th fence before the race was stopped.

After a lengthy inquiry the race was declared void and all bets were refunded.

Stipendiary steward Adrian Sharpe said: “We were unable to continue the race because there was no way of bypassing the stricken horse.

“The stop race procedure was implemented and the race was halted.”

Belfast Telegraph