Tony McCoy is delighted to land the ride on Denman in next month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls’ first choice stable jockey has remained loyal to Kauto Star, leaving McCoy to ride Denman, every jockey’s dream.
The fourteen times champion jockey gets his leg up on Denman for the first time in the Aon Chase in Newbury next week.
Denman has only ever been ridden under Nicholls by three jockeys, Walsh, Christian Williams and Sam Thomas.
Denman previously triumphed at the Gold Cup in 2008 with Sam Thomas riding, beating Kauto Star. If Kauto Star wins again this year, he will create history having won the Gold Cup three times.
Thomas also had the ride when Denman fell at Aintree last spring, but he has not been offered the ride this Gold Cup.
Denman’s critics have retreated in the last few months and he is being seen as a serious contender in what could be his last Gold Cup.
His stock has risen after a torrid end to 2008, where a heart operation was required due to an irregular heartbeat.
It was thought the effort involved winning the 2008 Gold Cup had taken an effect on the horse. Denman the horse they call ‘the tank’, had a remarkable success recently in November’s Hennessy Gold Cup.
After Denman’s Hennessy show, McCoy believes the two horses will put on an exceptional show.
McCoy won the 1997 Gold Cup aboard the Noel-Chance trained Mr Mulligan. The nearest he came last decade was second on board Exotic Dancer, behind Kauto Star in 2007.
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