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Fontwell: Samon makes McCoy work hard to ensure treble for champion team.

Byline: er: George Ennor

Tony McCoy and Martin Pipe were the stars of the show, enjoying a treble courtesy of Mirant, Samon and Punchy.

Mirant trotted up in the novices' hurdle and Punchy, though giving his rider one or two anxious moments, won the two-and-three-quarter-mile handicap hurdle, but Samon's success in the novices' chase was a totally different story.

Although he started at 1-3, Samon looked more like a 33-1 shot when last of the four survivors and going worst three fences form home, but McCoy's determination forced Samon's head in front near the line to win by a neck from Lost The Plot.

"I was very worried at halfway," said Graham Bradley, who was representing the winning owners Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman. "AP says that he needs more experience over fences."

One behind Pipe and McCoy came Andrew Thornton, who won on Tarongo in the selling chase and on The Newsman in the second of the handicap hurdles.

He did not quite have to sweat blood to do the weight on Tarongo but it was the next best thing. "I came here with the car heater on and all the windows shut and then went for a six-mile run - it's a bit hard having to do 10st 6lb on a Bank Holiday," he said.

It was all worthwhile as Tarongo, who ran here in preference to a date at the Doncaster Sales last week, landed the first win of his career in a style that encouraged John and Lavinia Taylor to go to 8,500gns to keep him.

Owner-trainer George Wareham said after The Newsman had gained his fourth course win here a month ago that the 11-year-old would be off on his holidays. But The Newsman was back in action yesterday and got the better of a dour battle with Capriolo to win by a length.

"He was so well that I felt there would be nothing lost in running him again," said Wareham.

Matthew Batchelor's career, which looked so promising a couple of years ago, stuttered last season, but a few more rides like the one he gave Tambo in the two-mile-six-furlong chase should put things to rights.

For a long time Tambo seemed to be fighting a losing battle against Dragon King, but the he never gave up trying and responded to his rider's encouragement to get home by a neck.

Star performance

Tony McCoy's ride on Samon in the novices' chase. It's all been said before, but the horse appeared to have no chance of winning, only for the champion jockey to persuade him otherwise.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 27, 2003
Words:431
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