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Hereford: McCoy four-timer so richly deserved.

Byline: Will O'Hanlon

TONY McCOY, the inspiration behind the Cantor Fitzgerald memorial raceday, appropriately was the star on the track as well, completing a sparkling four-timer on Ragdale Hall, Sunridge Fairy, Tiger Grass and Phar From Fair - then won the celebrity Flat race for good measure, writes Will O'Hanlon.

Ragdale Hall had to dig deep under a vintage McCoy ride to see off 100-1 shot Lago Di Levico in the two-mile-three-furlong novice hurdle, but trainer Philip Hobbs's wife Sarah, revealed that the winner, who runs for veteran owner Jack Joseph, scored despite making a noise.

"He's had a problem with his wind, and he's off to have an operation to hopefully sort it out," she said. "Tony was brilliant, but then he's a brilliant jockey."

Sunridge Fairy's victory under McCoy in the juvenile selling hurdle was a first success on the track for Middleham trainer Patrick Haslam.

But the filly's journey from the North proved to be a one-way ticket, as she was sold at the auction to a bid of 7,000gns from Nick Shutts.

McCoy made it three on Tiger Grass for Martin Pipe in the three-mile-two-furlong handicap hurdle, to the evident satisfaction of Pipe's right-hand man Chester Barnes, who had let the handicapper mark his card about the grey's chances.

"This horse is due to go up 14lb from tomorrow," said Barnes, "so unless the handicapper is stupid - and I don't think he is - then he was a racing certainty."

The champion rounded off a hugely successful day - and a profitable one for the the Cantor relief fund, to whom he donated his day's winnings - when riding Phar From Fair to an easy victory for trainer Lawrence Wells in the bumper.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2002
Words:284
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