Champion jockey Tony McCoy – who is due in action at Perth today – was in the wars at Worcester yesterday as he overcame a crunching fall to ride the winner of the following race before standing himself down for the rest of the day.
Partnering Flemenson in the Blazing Savills Handicap Hurdle, McCoy appeared to have the race in the bag when his mount dived at the second-last flight, firing the champion into the ground. Sur La Mer and Harry Derham were following and had nowhere to go, with the horse standing on McCoy’s chest. The race was won by Aalim.
After a few anxious moments, McCoy and Flemenson were on their feet, with the jockey soon changed into the colours of Full Throttle for the BellBet.com Offers You World Cup Value Novices’ Hurdle, where the 10-11 favourite was an easy winner. McCoy had earlier claimed the National Hunt Flat Race on Ozzy Thomas (15-8 favourite). Speaking to At The Races after Full Throttle’s win, a visibly shaken McCoy said: “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 passed up the mounts on Jonjo O’Neill’s Downtown Manhattan and Laura Mongan’s Stay In My Heart.
Hero De Villeneuve was given a patient ride by Brian Hughes as he romped away with the feature race at Perth yesterday. Always travelling supremely well, the Robbie Hennessy-trained gelding saw off Five Star Wilsham by seven lengths in the RAF Leuchars Ops Squadron Handicap Chase (for the Stirling Cup).
Hughes said: “He won a couple of races over two and a half miles at Bangor in the spring but Robbie and I were always confident he would be even better over three miles. I felt I had everything covered and he gave me a nice feel the whole way round.”
Nick Alexander was on the mark with Humphrey Bee in the Novices’ Handicap Chase. Veteran jockey Brian Harding rode the top-weight to victory and Alexander said: “I knew he would stay on as this 2m 4f is the minimum trip for him – we have two horses in at this time of year and they are both running today. [Daughter] Lucy would normally have ridden him but she’s out injured so she’s missed a birthday winner. She’s here this afternoon and expects to be back riding in about a couple of weeks.”
Ryan Day, 20, recorded his first winner under rules when Lisa Harrison-trained Solway Sam landed the Monsterbet Handicap Hurdle. Wilson Renwick completed a short-priced double on Gabrial The Great and Top Chief, trained by Donald McCain and Gordon Elliott respectively.
Meanwhile, Andrew Balding is hoping for enough ease in the ground for Tullius to take his chance in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.
The Kingsclere handler would like to give the six-year-old the opportunity to show he is as effective over further than a mile.
Tullius has been a revelation this season since he returned from injury with a series of very smart performances, including when winning the Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown in the spring. He has since finished second in the Lockinge at Newbury and fourth in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. “He needs a bit of rain but we’d like to run as we’d like to see how he acts over a mile and a quarter,” said Balding.