Popular winner's double delight

Champion jockey Tony McCoy notched a popular double on Monday at Fakenham.The Irish pilot coasted to a nine-length victory aboard Kia Kaha (5/4 favourite) in the feature before getting a spare leg up on Jim Best's Rocky Ryan (15/8f) to pocket a quickfire brace.

Champion jockey Tony McCoy notched a popular double on Monday at Fakenham.

The Irish pilot coasted to a nine-length victory aboard Kia Kaha (5/4 favourite) in the feature before getting a spare leg up on Jim Best's Rocky Ryan (15/8f) to pocket a quickfire brace.

Jonjo O'Neill's Kia Kaha profited from a confidence-boosting ride under McCoy in the JP McManus colours after falling when well placed previously on softish going at Taunton.

The 13-time champion then obliged with a spare ride success in the next when Rocky Ryan wore down his rivals in the East Dereham Handicap Hurdle.


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McCoy's late booking proved significant after his morning mount for the Best stable, Jades Double, was withdrawn over ground concerns.

Punters plunged on the Irishman's charge which repelled Tarkesar (15/8f) and Festive Chimes (9/1) in a thrilling joust. Lewes-based handler Best was interviewed by stewards following the win in the wake of Rocky Ryan's modest national hunt campaign to date this season.

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Princeful (6/1) sunk McCoy's treble charge in the Fakenham National Hunt Novices' Hurdle. Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Thomas revelled in the testing conditions to eclipse McCoy's Gabreselassie (3/1). Venetia Williams' French bred six-year-old had attracted significant market support.

Carruthers (2/11f) earned a 25s quote from William Hill for the Royal and Sun Alliance at the Cheltenham festival after sluicing up in the Weatherbys Bloodstock Insurance Beginners' Chase.

Mark Bradstock's powerful front runner cruised home by the length of the home straight.

The class act in the parade ring justified prohibitive odds to build on an encouraging seasonal re-appearance at Uttoxeter behind useful prospect What a Friend.

'This is one of the best horses I've ridden,' said winning jockey Mattie Batchelor. 'He did it very well. If you looked at the form of the race you would have wanted him to go and do that but he jumped fantastic.'

Ferimon (13/2) produced a gutsy effort to land the Great Fransham Handicap Chase finale. Richard Johnson's mount defied Fakenham specialist Evan Williams' Will the Till (15/2) and driving rain sweeping the course to stick his head in front.

Welsh raider Williams drew a rare blank when King Ar Aghaidh (7/1) sunk his well-backed Havenstone (5/4f) in the King's Lynn Maiden Hurdle opener.

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