Cheltenham Festival 2015: Jezki best chance of a winner says McCoy

McCoy has no plans to retire at Festival and high hopes for Jezki
Champion jockey AP McCoy revealed today that was “very unlikely” to hang up his saddle at the Cheltenham Festival, and nominated reigning Champion hurdler Jezki as his best chance of getting a winner during the four-day meeting.

The 19-times champion wants the chance to win a second Grand National, in which he is set to partner Coral’s 8/1 ante-post favourite Shutthefrontdoor, before he retires.

Speaking at a press conference at Oaksey House in Lambourn before being in action at Newbury, McCoy virtually ruled out ending his career after riding Carlingford Lough in the Gold Cup.

“It’s very, very unlikely I will retire in the Gold Cup, I want to ride in the Grand National,” he said. “When I start something I want to finish it.”

The jockey rates reigning Champion Hurdle hero Jezki as his best chance of riding a winner at his final Festival.

He said: “The horse I’m most looking forward to riding at the Festival is Jezki. I think he has got the best chance of winning.

“He’s definitely a horse that would like the ground to dry out as that would enhance his chances. He’s in pretty similar form to last year in that he has been beaten by Hurricane Fly a couple of times.

“I know Faugheen is the one they are all talking about, but there’s no form like Champion Hurdle form. If you look back over the last 20 years to horses that have previously run in the race, a good few of them have won.”

Walsh to leave Champion Hurdle choice to last minute
Ruby Walsh is adamant he will not make a decision on whether he rides Faugheen or Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle until two days before the big race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The unbeaten and younger Faugheen would appear to be the most likely ride for Walsh, with last year’s Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle winner having looked the real when winning the Christmas Hurdle at kempton in effortless style.

However, Walsh’s love for 11-year-old Hurricane Fly, who he steered to victory in the 2011 and 2013 runnings of the Champion Hurdle and has looked as good as ever in winning three Grade 1 races this season, has left him insisting a decision will not be made until the final declaration stage.

When asked at an event hosted by the Irish Examiner which of the Willie Mullins-trained runners he was likely to ride, Walsh said: “I’ll ride whichever one I think will win next Sunday. Both are in great nick at the moment.”

Faugheen is even-money favourite with Coral for the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday, March 10th, with Hurricane Fly an 8/1 chance.