Farewell To A Legend – Weekend Racing Review

It was an emotional occasion at Sandown on Saturday when Tony McCoy captured his 20th jockeys’ title before hanging up his boots, in the process receiving a well earned send off by the racing industry.

Sadly, there was to be no final day winner for McCoy for punters to cheer, but his followers may have had one eye on where to put their cash next season.

Indeed, McCoy came home in third place on Box Office in his last ever race, some 10l behind Brother Tedd, ridden by Richard Johnson.

So often in McCoy’s shadow when finishing runner-up in the jockeys title on numerous occasions, it seemed poignant that Johnson finally got in front of the champ here – a sign of things to come, perhaps?

Johnson v Twiston-Davies
Punters also took note, as Johnson’s odds for next season’s title received interest at evens, with Sam Twiston-Davies remained of interest at 7/4. Looking at the stats from the last two years backed up the money being wagered…

Richard Johnson :153 winners
Tom Scudamore :150 winners
Sam Twiston-Davies :145 winners

Richard Johnson :155 winners
Tom Scudamore :115 winners
Sam Twiston-Davies :100 winners

While Johnson can be relied upon to rack up a haul of 150+ of winners, it’s worth noting that both Twiston-Davies and Scudamore remain in the “improving” category – more so the former.

Having ridden totals of 87 winners in 2012/13, 100 in 2013/14, and then 145 last season, it’s clear to see Twiston-Davies’ star is on the rise, and he could be the one to offer value at 7/4, with the majority of the racing public assuming Johnson winning the title is a gimme.

One thing’s for sure, and that is in McCoy’s absence, there will be a new narrative to the jumps season next winter with three jockeys locking horns in a race for the title – bring it on!

Paul Nicholls also captured the trainers’ title on Saturday following his victory in the bet365 Gold Cup with Just a Par, and has already been quoted at 1/5 to retain his trainers’ trophy.

Here Come The Classics
Sandown also staged some key Flat action over the weekend, with David O’ Meara’s Custom Cat landing the bet365 mile, and is now 12/1 for next month’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, while Andrew Balding’s, Master Apprentice took the Group 3 Classic Trial, though he seems to be more Royal Ascot bound than the Classics.

On the subject of this season’s forthcoming Classics, Aidan O’Brien stated at the weekend that he remains unsure whether Found (Group 1 winner in France last term) will run in Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, despite working well at home. It may be that Found is being viewed as an Oaks type, with her odds drifting slightly to 7/2, though one who definitely miss the race is Michael Halford’s Raydara (was 20/1).

O’Brien remains more confident that Gleneagles will line-up for Saturday’s 2000 Guineas, where he is trading at 6/4. O’Brien stated that everything has gone to plan for this son of Galileo, who was a dual Group 1 winner last season (disqualified once) and will bid to become a seventh winner of this race for Ballydoyle.