McCoy the chosen one for Cheltenham Gold Cup ride

Connections of Neptune Collonges are hoping that Tony McCoy will be available to ride the horse if the decision is made to run him in the Cheltenham Gold Cup ahead of the Grand National.

The ten-year-old grey was handed a 33/1 quote in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting after his victory in the Argento Chase last month, in which McCoy rode the horse for the first time.

Neptune Collonges was in command of the Cheltenham trial, which also included Punchestowns and Tidal Bay, for the whole of the 3m1f trip, but had to be rousted along at the death as the latter laid down a strong late challenge.

Owner John Hales believes that McCoy was the perfect jockey to be on board the horse in such a situation and feels that a similar sort of performance is likely to be needed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He said: “He absolutely delighted us at Cheltenham and what a ride McCoy gave him. He’s the sort of jockey Neptune needs to liven him up and keep him going.

“Hopefully if we go back for the Gold Cup, AP might be able to ride him.”

Neptune Collonges has also performed amicably in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the past, running in the race three times and finishing third and fourth on his last two attempts.

However, the chances of McCoy taking the ride may be impacted if he is offered the chance to ride Denman, who is 6/1 in the Cheltenham betting.

The early-season target for Neptune Collonges was the Grand National and this has still not been ruled out as his next race.

Neptune Collonges is 40/1 in the ante-post Grand National betting, although his official rating of 162 is likely to mean that if entered he will be handed a heavy weight.

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