THIS race is a very strange one with the racing itself likely to be completely overshadowed by this being the final race at the Cheltenham Festival for the greatest jumps jockey who ever lived.
The race has been renamed in his honour with the permission of the Henderson family (usually known as the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual) which is a lovely touch.
As you would expect McCoy's mount Ned Buntline is now the 4-1 favourite as people put an emotional bet on him winning. It really would bring the house down like never before. From a cool-headed and unemotional betting perspective that bet must rank as the worst bet of the week in terms of value so I can't tip it but if you are an old romantic (or even a new romantic) then feel free to have a wee something on it.
The good news is that the short price of the favourite leaves us with loads of value elsewhere to take advantage of.
5.15 – AP McCoy Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup
– 2 miles
– Named in honour this year of the retiring Tony McCoy
Main Selection: Chris Pea Green
I have followed this lad over a cliff for the last two or three years and I'm not planning to stop today. He has a touch of class that I think has yet to be fully exposed over fences. Hopefully the Moores have him in good shape for today. The softer ground won't be a problem for him if the rain keeps up.
Each Way Selection: Next Sensation
Some good form in the book and has recently had a wind operation the benefit of which cannot be underestimated as we saw to good effect yesterday with Cole Harden. The Scudamores will be desperate for a win this week and it looks like he has been targeted at this race. Good value I reckon.
Chris Pea Green – 2 points each way at 22/1 with Totesport
Next Sensation – 2 points each way at 11/1 with Totesport