Tony McCoy just two short of magical 4,000 mark
Irish jockey has three rides at Exeter on Tuesday after two winners come at Kempton
Tony McCoy riding Foundation Man pass the grandstand before going on to win The Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Chase at Kempton. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Tony McCoy heads to Exeter for three rides on Tuesday on what could prove a landmark day in the record-breaking champion jockey’s career.
A double at Kempton courtesy of Captain Cutter and Foundation Man left the Irish jockey on 3,998 career winners over jumps – and two successes at Exeter would see him reach the magical 4,000 at the track that saw him register his first British winner back in September 1994, on the Gordon Edwards-trained Chickabiddy
Captain Cutter survived a less-than-fluent round of jumping to ultimately run out a comfortable winner of the Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson’s Punchestown bumper runner-up was the 4 to 11 favourite for his debut over timber and moved sweetly enough in the hands of the 18-times champion.
There was a slight moment of concern for his supporters as the six-year-old made a mistake four flights from home and he was also less than convincing at the final obstacle, but his class advantage was clear as he came home 10 lengths clear of Fine Words.
Talking about Captain Cutter’s mistake four flights from the finish, McCoy said: “When he jumped, he almost caught his head. It could have been worse. He could have knuckled over, but thankfully he didn’t.
“With the price that he went off at, he won the way he should have. He is a nice type of horse, he needs to brush up on his jumping and needs a bit of experience.
“He has started off well. I’m not sure he is the easiest horse to ride, but hopefully he will be (in time), all being well.”
McCoy added to his tally with his final ride from three on the card as 11 to 10 favourite Foundation Man claimed victory in the Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Handicap Chase.
Jonjo O’Neill’s charge received a reminder from McCoy down the back straight, but mastered Lemon’s Gent from the home turn and looked to have the race in safe keeping jumping the second-last.
Upton Mead came from further back to try and make a race of it under a familiar foe in Richard Johnson, but Foundation Man safely negotiated the final obstacle and was always doing enough to hold on by two and three-quarter lengths.
McCoy said: “He has been a disappointing horse, to be honest. He was going everywhere but forward, but he obviously has ability and he can improve. He is taking a step nearer and he is getting better. You can see from the size of him that he is a chaser, and hopefully he will improve with every race he runs.”
Assessing his chances at Exeter, McCoy said: “I wouldn’t say they are good chances. Flemenson is probably the best one.”
The O’Neill-trained Flemenson bids to make in two from two over obstacles in the opening novice hurdle at the Devon venue, while McCoy also rides Keen Eye in a similar event and Well Hello There, also trained by O’Neill, goes in a handicap chase.