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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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McCoy and Russell hit treble topsHeadlines
Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy made a rare trip north of the border to Ayr and was rewarded with a near 122-1 treble - highlighted by the success of Tap Night.

A recent purchase for JP McManus, the six-year-old had a verdict over Captain Conan over hurdles at Kelso last season and could take high rank over fences.

The 4-9 favourite faced just three rivals on his fencing debut in the Download The BetVictor Spincast App Now Novices' Chase and was five lengths down after a slow leap three out. However, he made up the ground effortlessly to win by five lengths.

Winning trainer Lucinda Russell told Racing UK: "He was a bit novicey at a couple, but he jumped well in the main and he was entitled to win it off his mark. I like the way he quickened up - AP (McCoy) was quite happy so it's all good news. I'm not too sure what we'll do about the distance, whether we go up to two and a half or stick at two miles. He's certainly got plenty of pace and I was quite pleased with how he handled the really soft ground."

A two-and-a-half-mile contest at Musselburgh, which the yard won last season with Bold Sir Brian, was mentioned as a possible target. Russell also claimed the first two races with very nice prospects.

Green Flag (5-6 favourite) was giving 10lb to each of his rivals in the EBF/Follow Us On Twitter @BetVictorRacing "National Hunt" NovicesĀ“ Hurdle and, despite getting tired after the last, he had enough left to beat Balleybogey by 10 lengths. He has now won three of his four starts over hurdles.

Peter Buchanan was on board Green Flag, and gave Imjoeking (7-2) a near-identical ride in the Get The BetVictor App Maiden Hurdle. Having chased home the useful Morning Royalty at Carlisle, there was nothing of that class in this race and he stayed on to beat Halo Moon by three and a half lengths.

McCoy then partnered two winners for Northern Irish handler James Lambe in the shape of Forestside (16-1) in the BetVictor Exclusive Antepost Offer Cheltenham 2013 Handicap Hurdle and Seader (4-1) BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle.

Lambe said of Forestside: "He's an out-and-out stayer. He won a point to point and has won a couple over hurdles. Barry Geraghty rode him the last day and said to send him over as far as we could and take our time with him. It's good to put AP up and it's good to get a winner. Forestside might win again but after racing on that ground you'll not see him for a couple of weeks at least."

Donald McCain's Desert Cry (5-4 favourite) gained his second verdict over Kudu Country in 11 days in the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase. Shadow Boxer (11-4 favourite) then won the concluding BetVictor Cheltenham Festival Antepost Pioneers Handicap Chase for trainer Donald Whillans and his son, Callum.

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