- Cheltenham Festival
McCoy confirmed for Sir Des Champs
AP McCoy has been confirmed for the ride on Sir Des Champs in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, after connections opted to withdraw the champion jockey's intended mount Sunnyhillboy.
The ride on the sole Irish raider, a two-time Festival winner, became available when Davy Russell was ruled out on account of injury. Russell suffered a punctured lung following a fall from Un Beau Matin in the Coral Cup on Wednesday and was stood down after two rides on Thursday.
He was subsequently ruled out of the ride on the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Des Champs and McCoy's name was immediately floated, but BHA rules bar jockeys from switching horses once the final declarations have been made.
The only way McCoy could take the ride would be if Sunnyhillboy, owned by JP McManus, was taken out and that was confirmed on Friday morning - with trainer Jonjo O'Neill saying his charge had a respiratory problem.
It was confirmed shortly afterwards by Sir Des Champs' connections that they had snapped up McCoy.