Horse racing: McCoy’s going a long way just for Vimiero!

editorial image
Have your say

Jonjo O’Neill’s horses have been a bit hit and miss of late but the good ones – the ones ridden by Tony McCoy – have been winning.

Holywell was one last weekend and Vimieri looks like being another in the opener at Huntingdon tomorrow (2.10pm).

The champion jockey heads to Huntingdon for just two rides and with his only other mount coming on the seemingly exposed Saint Luke, it’s fair to assume that Vimiero is the fancied one.

The five-year-old certainly has a fine chance on form with his latest effort when second to long odds-on favourite Ile De Re a very good one indeed.

Vimiero made the 124-rated Ile De Re pull out all the stops and as that was only second ever run over hurdles for the O’Neill runner there should be plenty of improvement left.

McCoy also takes over for the first time on the horse – Dominic Elsworth was in the saddle last time – and had AP been on board last time who’s to say that Vimiero wouldn’t have won?

He is faced with roughly the same conditions tomorrow and this looks a great opportunity to open his account and McCoy probably knows it hence he is there for only one seemingly seriously fancied ride.

Both Sonoran Sands and Guess Again have decent enough form and indeed form quite similar to Vimiero’s with the former especially feared with young Brendan Powell taking an extra 5lbs off.

Expect McCoy, though, to make his trip to Huntingdon worthwhile and get us off to a flyer in the first.

Another yard that has been a bit hit and miss of late is the Phillip Hobbs stable but, like the Jonjo runners, the really good ones are still winning – such as Big Easy the other day.

Persian Snow is definitely another good one – the horse having long been well-regarded by the stable – and he is very much the one to be on in the maiden hurdle at 4.40pm.


They were talking about the Cheltenham Festival with this chap after he won his bumper at Ascot back in the autumn of 2010 and while he has failed to win since Persian Snow has been highly tried.

Admittedly he flopped badly when odds on for a weak race at Ludlow in January, but he was back to form when second to Twirling Magnet at Sandown last time and on that form he is the one to beat tomorrow.

Featherintheattic, for the Nicky Henderson and Andrew Tinkler team, is the obvious danger but he hasn’t achieved anywhere near as much as Persian Snow and is expected to come out second best.

What’s also expected is a decent day for the Donald McCain yard on the day’s other card at Sedgfield, with Saga De Tercey (2.20pm), Total Rebellion (3.20pm), Realignment (4.50pm) and Howaboutnow (5.20pm) all holding fine chances.

The McCain horses have been on fire in the last seven days and even animals with only outside chances on the form book have been hacking up.

That bodes seriously well for this quartet then who all have good chances on what they have shown so far anywhere and if McCain doesn’t land at least a double it will be a big surprise.

Pinning one down as his main hope is a recipe for disaster but Saga De Tercey won very easily last time and even with a penalty should have too many guns for Anychancedave.

Trainer Jessica Harrington watches Our Dukeat her Commonstown Stables in Moone, Ireland. PIC: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Cheltenham Festival Turf Talk: Sizing John ‘understudy’ Our Duke looking for repeat performance in Gold Cup