With just a handful of JP McManus runners entered for Saturday’s card at Sandown, one jockey in particular is going to be very sought after indeed.
The lack of opportunities for AP McCoy to carry those famous green and gold silks to victory on the final day of his career may be sad for him. But it’s certainly a blessing for others.
McCoy is surely set to be in demand for the Bet365 Gold Cup with no McManus horses in the big handicap to round the season off.
So who could the outgoing Champ get the leg up on? We look at the three most likely candidates.
AP McCoy’s relationship with Jonjo O’Neill has proved a fruitful one for both parties, from Don’t Push It’s Grand National to Synchronised’s Gold Cup.
And with the retiring jockey having already guided the eight-year-old to victory three times in his career, he must be the most likely McCoy mount.
As things stand though, he would need to slim down to his lowest riding weight in over 12 months to make the 10-03 Lost Legend is currently allocated.
The way he stayed on at the end of the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase at Cheltenham suggests this extra distance could bring out more, and he looks a lively outsider.
If the two at the head of the weights take their chance, McCoy’s options will be somewhat limited, and the 2013 Gold Cup winner could be the go-to ride.
With Barry Geraghty still nursing a broken leg, Nicky Henderson will be on the lookout for a new rider, and with the Champ his second most used jockey in the last five years, it could be a no brainer.
It would surely take something of a rejuvenation to get the horse up to victory after two lacklustre efforts this season.
He is down to a three-year low mark though now dropping into handicap company, and will enjoy a real test of stamina.
The longest price of these to win the race and probably the least likely of the trio to be AP’s ride.
Like Bob’s Worth, he’s shown very little this season, most recently pulled up in the Grand National, after being brought down at Cheltenham.
And like Nicky Henderson, Donald McCain will be seeking an able deputy as Jason Maguire continues to recover from a back problem.
McCoy has stepped in on numerous occasions for the Cholmondeley trainer, though whether he’d be prepared to jump aboard such a long shot here is questionable.
With one win over fences in three years, his best days are probably behind him, and he looks unlikely to be the plum spare ride the 20-times leading jockey chooses to bow out on.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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