Tony McCoy made the most of his spare ride on Mischievous Milly to take the feature totepool.com Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in tough conditions at Taunton yesterday.
The 17-times champion jockey was a late replacement for Sam Jones and the move was vindicated as he got the better of Barry Geraghty on the odds-on favourite Ma Filleule.
McCoy brought Oliver Sherwood’s filly wide round the home turn and even a mistake at the final flight could not stop her momentum as the 11-2 chance out fought Ma Filleule by two and a quarter lengths.
“She’s a nice little mare, she’s tough and she’s got a good attitude,” McCoy said.
“She missed the last and I thought going to it she’d be hard to beat.
“I thought going to the last I’d win and I thought I saw a stride but it wasn’t there. I just wrestled her over the hurdle and got her to the other side.
“I gave a her a squeeze and she kept on picking up.”
Sherwood said: “She’s as good a filly as I’ve had and she’ll improve with another summer under her belt. She’s got a great attitude.
“I didn’t know how she’d handle that ground. I don’t think any horse likes that ground. Job done.”
Amateur Michael Heard enjoyed his first ever winner when steering Home Run to a cosy victory in the GT Wyatt 70th Birthday Handicap Hurdle.
The David Pipe-trained four-year-old was completing a 23-day four-timer, his latest success coming at Wincanton on Boxing Day.
The 15-8 favourite put in several prodigious leaps and stormed to a two and three-quarter lengths verdict over Extremely So despite drifting left towards the stands rail.
Heard, who has ridden many point-to-point winners, said: “It’s my first winner and for a great trainer, Mr Pipe. I’m very lucky to ride for him and it’s come off nicely. His last four runs he has drifted left and he did that here after jumping the last but he still does the job.”
Pipe completed a double when No Secrets (5-1) made up many lengths after the last to collar long-time leader Fine Parchment and claim the Bet toteexacta At totepool.com Handicap Chase by two and three-quarter lengths.
Pipe said: “He’s always been a horse I’ve liked. He’s never been the best of jumpers, we’ve done a lot of work in the loose school with him.
“Tom (Scudamore) gave him a great ride, just crept around with him. I thought we were going to finish second, but the one in front has idled and he’s battled all the way to the line.”
Harry Derham drove out 4-1 co-favourite Landscape, trained by his uncle Paul Nicholls, to deny Ifyouletmefinish by half-a-length in the Steve Logan Memorial Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
“Some go in this ground and some don’t. He obviously did,” said Nicholls.
“The runner-up was the horse to beat. I thought we were OK handicapped and he’s done it well today.”
Kilmurvy (12-1) produced a neat of foot on the run-in to take the Bet toteplacepot At totepool.com Novices’ Hurdle on his jumps debut.
Only fourth over the final flight, Jeremy Scott’s charge responded to Nick Scholfield’s urgings and got up to score by a length and a quarter from Sidney Melbourne.
Smart Flat performer Electrolyser was sent off the 4-7 favourite on his hurdling debut but was pulled up down the back straight.
“He was very green and down the back he was looking around just because it was his first time,” Scholfield said.
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