Wicked Crack left with simple task


RACING: Trainers made 12 entries for the Barretstown Novice Chase at Punchestown today but once they spotted the intention of Edward Hales to run Wicked Crack, more than half of them decided that there would be easier novice chases to come, where you would not be faced with a campaigner that on her last start was running against Cheltenham Gold Cup horses.

What is more the fact that Wicked Crack was going well when falling four out was not a total surprise to any one who had taken note of how she had managed to divide Foxchapel King and Florida Pearl in the James Nicholson Wine Merchant Champioin Chase at Down Royal in November.

First and third there between them carried off the two highest quality Christmas Chases in Ireland and England, the Ericsson and the King George.

Jenniferjo has some smart place form in bumpers, most recently when runner up to Edward O'Grady's newcomer Inca Taril at Naas on Sunday. Such was his advance reputation that he opened and closed at odds on and delivered in a style that makes this half-brother to Best Mate a live Cheltenham prospect.

Ruby Walsh should be at least two winners up by the time three races have been decided. Killultagh Thunder who won his bumper at Leopardstown and Atlantic Rhapsody, placed to Thari over hurdles at the same venue, are the preferred pair of Walsh mounts but his Assessed will pose a serious danger to Royal Jake in the Kilcullen Novice Chase.

Tony McCoy was left teetering on the brink of the fastest 200 winners in a season after a riding a double at Leicester yesterday. The champion jockey scored on Jonjo O'Neill's Master Tern and the Martin Pipe-trained Polar Champ to leave himself on the 199-winner mark.

McCoy, who has six chances of notching the record-breaking double century at Newbury today said: "They've all got some sort of chance but I have to admit there doesn't appear to be a good thing among them so we'll just have to wait and see." Master Tern made up for falling last time with a two-length verdict from Ibis Rochelais in the novices' chase.