Perennial champion jockey AP McCoy was full of festive cheer after he landed a treble at Plumpton on Monday.
The man who has been the Champion Jockey every year since 1996 sent home many of the good crowd in attendance with a little extra to cover the Christmas expenses. AP fired in the first two winners, Sir Fredlot and Cantlow, before patiently waiting for the last race on the card to guide home Thunderstorm and make it three out of three on the day.
Of the three, Cantlow was probably the horse to take for the future. His win in the two mile-novice chase was his first over fences and considering he is likely to be ideally suited by a far greater test of stamina, his third in the staying handicap hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, the future for him in handicap chases looks bright.
“His previous experience helped him. He made a bad mistake down the back and to be honest I couldn’t see the last fence (low sun) so I just fired him at it and he came up well. I don’t think this heavy ground is essential for him but he will need to improve at his fences if he’s going to be a Cheltenham horse in March” were the thoughts of AP post race.
The experience of jumping at two mile pace he has accumulated in his last few runs will stand him in good stead when he steps up to the sterner tests of stamina he needs and he looks like an individual who has further progress in him.
Those comments also apply to Ace Fighter Pilot who won the two mile five furlong novice hurdle for Lewes trainer Jim Best in decisive fashion.
Jim commented on a horse that he has high hopes for.
“Before the race I was worried about the heavy ground but he handled it well and he’ll be even better on decent ground. He’s such a gentleman at home and you wish you had a whole string of horses’ like him. He schools at home over fences which is where his future lies and he stays very well, which he showed today”.
Ace Fighter Pilot has good size and is sure to strengthen up physically as he matures and should be kept on the right side of.