sport

McCoy revels in the mud

Champion jockey Tony McCoy rode a double at Ffos Las despite describing conditions as "horrific".

The 17-times champion took the bottomless ground into consideration on his mounts to be among several jockeys and trainers to have a couple of winners at the Welsh track.

He struck first on the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Dream Again Boys (9/2) when sending him on a long way out to claim the Lindley Group Event Caterers Handicap Hurdle by nine lengths from Pension Plan.

"The ground is so heavy, some horses will go through it and some won't," said McCoy.

"I didn't mean to ride him that handy. We were doing a little bit too much. I thought I would have him up there and hold on to him as long as I could.

"He coped with the ground and others didn't. It's as bad a ground as you could race on. He was keen on the ground and I was letting him stride on.

"It's horrific and he was leaning a bit out all the way. It's so deep all the way round."

McCoy doubled up with a cheeky success on The Bear Trap (11/2) for Rebecca Curtis in the IWEC Electrical Handicap Hurdle.

He bided his time in the unforgiving conditions on the JP McManus-owned six-year-old, who was having his first run since April, before heading Hassadin on the run-in for a two-and-a-half-length verdict.

Curtis had earlier won with Bob Ford (4/1), who ran his rivals ragged to take the Stradley Park Maiden Hurdle under Tom Scudamore.

The six-year-old ploughed through the mud to beat Water Wagtail by six lengths.

"We've always liked him at home, but we haven't had him too long," said the Dyfed trainer.

"We probably ran him back fairly soon [after 10 days], but it didn't look a great race, so we thought we'd take our chances."

Scudamore said: "That's the heaviest ground I've ridden on for quite some time which is saying a lot for the weather we have had recently.

"To be far to him, he's jumped and galloped and has handled it fine.

"Once he settled he was never really in any danger."

Scudamore employed similar tactics as the David Pipe-trained Shaking Hands (3/1) swept to victory by 13 lengths from Ten Fires in the lindleygroup.com Handicap Chase.

"My instructions were the same as at Towcester last time - to keep the colours clean," said Scudamore.

Trainer Evan Williams and jockey Paul Moloney got on the double-winning act with victories for One In A Milan and Tin Pot Man.

Moloney gave One In A Milan (7/2) a confident ride by Paul Moloney to run out a cosy winner of a three-runner affair for the Davies Coaches Novices' Chase.

Abnaki set a sedate pace but was vulnerable and had no answer when One In A Milan jumped into the lead at the last and sprinted clear to score by two and three-quarter lengths.

"He surprised me. He actually refused in two point-to-points, so we were a bit worried but I've schooled him a few times at home and I really liked him," Moloney told At The Races.

"I'm not sure how good that race was but he couldn't have done it any easier and he'll be better going left-handed."

Tin Pot Man (7/1) was also produced late in the day to deny the always prominent Michigan D'Isop by half a length in the Custom Clothing Handicap Chase.

"He had a hell of a fall last time over hurdles and took a long time to get up," said Williams.

"He's only small but he's a genuine little horse and he just ground it out.

"I never thought he would go on those ground conditions, but he kept plugging away."

Nick Scholfield steered Molly's A Diva (4/1) to victory for trainer Kim Bailey in the concluding bumper by a length and three-quarters from Brantingham Breeze.