Horse racing: Keep up to Speed with the Master-ful McCoy

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Just the two National Hunt meetings at Carlisle and Leicester tomorrow – the calm after the storm of today’s Hennessy cracker at Newbury.

But there’ll be no relenting for champion jockey Tony McCoy who should land at the very least a double at Leicester tomorrow with Speed Master for Nicky Henderson his bet of the day (2.40pm).

McCoy is still riding better than ever and his effort on Fists Of Fury at Wetherby this week was right out of the top drawer.

He now heads to Leicester for just three rides and it’s not inconceivable that all three could win with Speed Master looking the best of them by quite some way.

Speed Master comes up against two useful opponents tomorrow in Fennis Boy and Dj Milan with the former having won his last two at Kempton and Market Rasen.

Dj Milan produced a fine performance to win at Hereford last time in what looked a decent contest.

However, both are now up in class and against Speed Master the duo are expected to be outclassed – Henderson’s five-year-old having won two out of three and both victories coming with McCoy on board.

He was 4-9 when winning last time from the fairly average Belle De Fontenay and in truth his form is little better than Fennis Boy’s but there is a strong suspicion that Speed Master could be close to top class and that’s certainly what McCoy intimated after obliging on him at Southwell last time.

“Speed Master’s a fair sort of horse and will get further,” said the champ that day. given the brilliant horses that AP has sat on, even “fair sort” is noteworthy praise and it’s surely significant that he is on this animal again.

Henderson also remains in red-hot form and with Speed Master getting 7lbs from Fennis Boy it will be a major surprise if this horse is beaten tomorrow with anything around the evens mark looking decent value.

It will hopefully prove a McCoy masterclass at Leicester with the champ also holding a fine chance on Not Til Monday in the handicap hurdle at 2.10pm.

Again, it was McCoy who steered this one home to an easy victory over course and distance at Leicester the other day and a 7lbs penalty might not stop him going in again in a very winnable race.

McCoy’s last ride comes on Castlerock for Jonjo O’Neill in the 3.45pm finale and this one showed that his turn was near when only beaten a length and a quarter by Red Not Blue last time – the duo miles clear of the third.

A 65,000 euros purchase, he has only had six runs and is thus open to serious progression, giving him a narrow nod over Folk Tune who admittedly looks a serious opponent with his confidence soaring.

Another big fancy at Leicester tomorrow comes in the opener where Castletown Bridge (1.05pm) ought to make amends for getting chinned on the line last time in a race in which he must have hit 1-100 in running, such was the ease he was travelling with.

He ended up getting beat under his inexperienced pilot but unless one of the newcomers is a machine there should be no such mistake tomorrow under Felix De Giles.

Carlisle’s card, meanwhile, looks tougher with Nigel Twiston Davies’ gutsy Frascati Park the only real fancy there (1.20pm).

Goodwood. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire

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