McCoy on fast track for bonus

 

Tony McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald, Ruby Walsh or Timmy Murphy could be in line for a £100,000 bonus if they can win all three Grade One races at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

The four riders, as well as Irish trainer Willie Mullins, are the only ones to participate in all three races, the Pertemps Aviation Resources Feltham, the Pertemps Christmas Hurdle and the Pertemps King George VI Chase.

Champion jockey McCoy rides the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Bold Investor in the Feltham, Ilnamar in the Hurdle and favourite Best Mate in the King George. They help to make up his full book of rides as he chases the fastest 200 winners in history. McCoy is just one winner short of that total.

But Fitzgerald holds a strong hand in all the races riding the Nicky Henderson-trained duo of Iris Royal in the Feltham and Bacchanal in the King George as well as Marble Arch in the Hurdle.

Fitzgerald said: "Obviously I would love to win the £100,000 bonus especially as I ride for three different trainers as it will mean I keep the full £100,000.

"Marble Arch ran very well in the Bula, Bacchanal worked very well the other day and was very impressive at Newbury as was Iris Royal, who will improve for the run. They have all got good chances and I am really looking forward to Boxing Day."

Ruby Walsh rides Le Sauvignon in the novice chase, Davenport Milenium in the Hurdle and last year's King George winner Florida Pearl in the feature event.

"I would be delighted if one of the three won let alone all of them," he said. "However they all have good chances, Le Sauvignon was very impressive at Folkestone and jumped really well, Davenport Milenium is a very, very good horse and last year's King George winner - everyone knows how good he is."

Mullins, trainer of Florida Pearl, Davenport Milenium and One Night Out, is the only handler to be represented in all three races and he believes the treble will be hard to complete.

He commented: "It would be a hell of a feat to win all three of the Grade Ones on Boxing Day. Florida Pearl is in good form but the ground is likely to be too soft now.

"One Night Out will love the ground but Ruby has chosen to ride Le Sauvignon so obviously thinks that will finish closer while Davenport Milenium is in good form but again would prefer good ground.

"However we are happy enough to run him and give him some more experience," he added.

McCoy and Walsh are both 66 to 1 with Coral to take all three races while Fitzgerald is 200 to 1.

Murphy, who rides Lucky Bay in the Feltham, Santenay in the Hurdle and Marlborough in the King George, is available at 2000 to 1 with the same firm.

Mullins is 200 to 1 to train all three winners.