14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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McCoy notches Ayr doubleHeadlines
Tap Night

Tony McCoy endured an eventful journey up to Ayr but it was worth it in the end as he won on his only two mounts - with Tap Night the undoubted highlight.

McCoy ended up on a flight to Edinburgh instead of Glasgow, over 80 miles from Ayr, but the perennial champion jockey still made it to the track with plenty of time to spare.

It was for the JP McManus-owned Tap Night that McCoy made the long trek and he will have enjoyed the journey home after Lucinda Russell's six-year-old cruised to a cheeky win in the BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Novices' Chase.

The first horse McManus has owned to be trained in Scotland, Tap Night holds entries in the Arkle and the Jewson at Cheltenham, but could switch to a handicap if the assessor is not unduly harsh.

Having won on his chasing debut over two miles he was last of four at Musselburgh most recently, but conceding 7lb to David Pipe's The Tracey Shuffle, a 135-rated hurdler, the pair were sent off 11-8 joint-favourites.

Pipe's charge set a really strong gallop up front and jumped for fun apart from two mistakes down the back straight. They did not stop his momentum too much, but McCoy did not have to get serious to cruise up alongside before letting out an inch of rein after the last to win by a length and a half.

Russell told Racing UK: "I'm really pleased because I wasn't too sure about the distance in the heavy going, but he seemed to cope really well. AP said he just made one mistake down the back. I've not thought about Cheltenham. I'll speak to Frank (Berry, McManus's racing manager) and AP and see what they think."

McCoy's first mount came on Tim Easterby's Deepsand in the BetVictor Welsh Open Final Frame Insurance Maiden Hurdle and despite some hairy leaps out to his left in the straight, the 4-6 favourite was still able to see off the game challenge of Hallmark Star by a length.

It turned out to be an excellent day for Russell, with 2-1 favourite Nuts N Bolts claiming the Money Back On Madrid With BetVictor Handicap Chase and 5-1 shot Island Confusion running away with the concluding bumper.

Donald McCain's point-to-point winner Swatow Typhoon followed up a bumper win at the course 20 days ago with a game success in the 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle after being off the bridle some way out. Jason Maguire drove out the 9-4 joint-favourite for a seven-length win.

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