McCoy pencilled in for Teaforthree in Cheltenham Gold Cup
Tony McCoy confirmed that he will be riding At Fishers Cross in the World Hurdle for Rebecca Curtis after winning the Albert Bartlett on him last season. Jonjo O’Neill had offered McCoy the ride on the unbeaten More Of That but he has elected to ride the Cleeve Hurdle runner-up.
At Fishers Cross had lost his form in the early part of the season but was beaten only a short-head by 66-1 outsider Knockara Beau last time. He had four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s three-quarters of a length behind him that day and looks to have a leading chance.
McCoy has also revealed that he will ride Grand National favourite Teaforthree if he is allowed to take his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The former National Hunt Chase winner finished third in the Grand National last year and was installed as favourite for the race after finishing second at Ascot last month.
McCoy has ridden Teaforthree on several occasions in the past, notably when a close second to Monbeg Dude in the Welsh National last year. That rival remains unchanged at 20-1 after finishing fifth in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on Saturday.
Michael Scudamore’s gelding made a mistake at the third and could never get back into the race won by Night In Milan. Connections were not too concerned at the horse’s defeat and he remains on course for Aintree on April 5th.
Scottish National winner Godsmejudge lost his place at half-way and was pulled up by Robert Thornton with four still to jump. The winner looks unlikely to get a run this year but could get his first taste of the National fences in the Topham Chase.
Burton Port could have earned himself a run in the big race after finishing a brave second in the Veteran’s Chase at Newbury to Summery Justice. He made most of the running under McCoy and rallied bravely when headed approaching the last.
The former Gold Cup fourth has just 10st 8lb to carry at Aintree, although it is almost four years since his last victory. He is 33-1 to provide Trevor Hemmings with a third Grand National triumph following Hedgehunter (2005) and Ballabriggs (2011).