Seamus Mullins’ eventful journey to Warwick was all worthwhile as Tony McCoy worked a bit of his typical magic on Time To Think in the TurfTV Handicap Chase.
The 2-1 favourite had a good record in heavy ground last spring but looked an unlikely heroine until the final stages when McCoy summoned a final effort to get her a neck past Sam Twiston-Davies and Have You Seen Me.
“I thought I was going to be the only trainer AP hadn’t ridden a winner for. We had a blowout on the A34 this morning, that was two tyres and �600. I had to wait with the box but luckily Rob Walford was going the same way and he picked up the mare and took her here. I only made it here 10 minutes before the race,” said Mullins.
He added of the winner: “She could go up to three miles somewhere, and I suppose there’s the option of the final of this race at Haydock in March.”
McCoy cut it similarly fine when initiating a double from his only two mounts. Although the margin was again a neck in the racinguk.com Juvenile Hurdle, it was really because his Tim Easterby-trained mount Hawk High (6-4) was doing the minimum in front. McCoy was easing him home and hit the line just ahead of Dave Crosse and Haatefina, who had a second wind.
“In fairness to Dave he kept going,” said McCoy. “I sat up at the end, but he’s won and he’d appreciate slightly better ground. He’s got a future.”
Richard Lee has made his name with Welsh National winners, having saddled two of the last three with the late Le Beau Bai and Mountainous, and his enthusiasm implied Kris Spin could be another for the future. Formerly with Henry Daly, Kris Spin (7-1) looked to have the right sort of attributes for Chepstow as he ploughed through more than three miles in demanding ground for the John Malone Godfather Of Mortgages Retirement Handicap Hurdle.
“I do love this horse, I did as soon as I set eyes on him. He was bought for the owners as a replacement for Le Beau Bai. He’ll go over fences next season – that’s his job. He’s very exciting,” Lee said.
Kris Spin’s jockey, McCoy’s eternal shadow Richard Johnson, went on to complete his own double in emphatic style aboard 8-13 favourite Persian Snow in the Call Star Sports On 08000 521 321 Novices’ Chase.
Little Legend (11-10 favourite) ridden and trained by Kent-based Cynthia Haydon, could possibly go to the Cheltenham Festival after his sprightly display in the CGA Foxhunter Trial Open Hunters’ Chase.
“Everything would have to be right for him to go to Cheltenham, but we’ll look at it,” Haydon said. “He might run again at the end of February.”
The Venetia Williams and Aidan Coleman show rolled on to the Midlands as Union Jack D’ycy (7-1) kept on best in an attritional rewards4racing.com Handicap Chase.
“He’s only a pony but he does jump well,” said Williams. “I think the soft ground has helped.”
Robbie Dunne, on runner-up Bally Sands, was given a four-day whip ban (February 6-9). Noel Fehily helped the promising Battle Born land the odds as 6-4 favourite in the Connolly’s Red Mills Bumper Challenge.Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines