Quantitiveeasing works for JP McManus

IT IS a rare occasion when the bookmakers celebrate a JP McManus winner at Cheltenham but it was the case yesterday in the Spinal Research The Atlantic 4 Gold Cup.

The decision of the legendary owner and gambler’s retained jockey Tony McCoy to waste down to 10st 4lb in order to ride Sunnyhillboy caused him to be sent off an incredibly well-backed 7-2 favourite, only to be eventually pulled up.

Instead, it was McCoy’s original mount Quantitativeeasing (6-1) who got the better of a close finish, forming part of a memorable 61st birthday for trainer Nicky Henderson, whose Grandouet and Oscar Whisky later displayed their top hurdling credentials.

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Each leg of the 34-1 treble was ridden by Barry Geraghty, who dusted himself off after a heavy fall from Tanks For That to focus all his energies on bustling Quantitativeeasing along from the back of the pack to deprive Medermit by three-quarters of a length up the hill.

“It has been a great day, but it relies on a lot of people working together and it’s a happy coincidence it all happened on 10 December,” said Henderson.

Of Quantitativeeasing, he went on: “It was great race and a great ride. I feel sorry for AP, it was his idea I suppose [to ride Sunnyhillboy]. I thought he would ride our horse with it having 10st 7lb and the other horse 10st 4lb. The horse has been very consistent and you’d have to say he deserves one.”