Cheltenham Festival 2011 

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By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker

AP McCoy to Partner Starluck in the Arkle

Trainer Alan Fleming has secured the services of one AP McCoy for his stable star, Starluck, who is an intended runner in the Arkle next month at Cheltenham.

© Grossick Racing Photography


The classy grey was well-fancied in some quarters for the Champion Hurdle but surprise news came earlier in the week that a switch to the Arkle was on the agenda. That looks like being the case so long as things go well at Huntingdon on Thursday. With Timmy Murphy already spoken for, Fleming needed a replacement and who better than AP. Fleming told the press;

"All going well, he'll run on Thursday and he's in good form. Obviously he's best on good ground but he'll run on soft. He'll go just as long as it's not heavy. Tony McCoy has been down to school him and he's going to ride him on Thursday. He's free and he doesn't really have a horse to ride in the Arkle. We couldn't have Timmy so to have someone as good as AP to ride instead is great. We'll have to see what turns up on Thursday, but we're looking forward to it."


A chaser with proven jumping ability if not too much class is Prince Tam and he should be able to defy a penalty at Wetherby in the 4.25. A change to front-running tactics bore fruit last week at Newcastle and that resulted in a RPR on 94, a rating the 7-y-o has achieved twice before around this time last year. Racing off 83 here and facing rivals who are out of form and / or have shown there better form over further than this 2 miles. Clearly soft ground is no problem and only the race possibly coming too quickly may prevent the follow-up.

Recommendation: 4.25 Wetherby – Prince Tam

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