McCoy enjoys double success at Taunton
A quick double for champion jockey AP McCoy was the highlight of another exciting afternoon of racing at Taunton, which was again attended by a larger than usual crowd.
The first race, the BHEST Racing to School Handicap Hurdle run over half a furlong more than three miles, was keenly contested throughout by the 16 horses, but eventually it was Typhon De Guye, a 7-1 shot trained by Martin Keighley, that held on to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Orion Express (10-1) from Susan Gardner's yard at Longdown, near Exeter.
Timmy Murphy, on Young Mags, set off the 3-1 favourite in the James Brown and Sons Mares' Handicap Hurdle over half a furlong under two and a half miles, but it was Romance Dance (14-1), trained by Sarah Kerswell at Kingsbridge, that was among the leaders for most of the time.
Three from home she was joined by Queen's Grove (5-1), ridden by James Best for Kevin Bishop, and Adiynara (11-2). At the line it was the Bishop horse that edged it by one and a quarter lengths from Neil Mulholland's Adiynara.
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The most valuable race of the day, the Bathwick Tyres Beginners' Chase, saw Philip Hobbs' Jayandbee take an early lead but by the time they went past the start again the Kim Bailey-trained Savant Bleu (6-1) led and was still out front at the top of the home straight, although by then Mabel Tasman (9-1), under Dougie Costello, had come to prominence along with the ever-improving Shocking Times (16-1).
Mabel Tasman jumped into the lead three from home and pulled away to win by three lengths, with the other two fighting it out to the line, where Shocking Times just held onto second by a neck from Savant Bleu.
The champion jockey chalked up his first win of the day on The Romford Pele (4-6 favourite) in the Setsquare Recruitment Novices' Hurdle over two miles.
However, McCoy had it far from all his own way, eventually winning by two and half lengths from the Paul Nicholls-trained Suerte Al Salto (11-2) who, along with third placed Roberto Pegasus (15-8) from Alan King's yard, had driven the winner hard.
McCoy made it a double when he rode Dormouse to a one-and-a-half length victory for Anabel Murphy in the SIS Live Handicap Hurdle. Second place had to be decided by a photograph, with Jeremy Scott's Notfarbad (13-2) claiming the spot by a short head from Della Sun (33-1) under Will Kennedy.
In the Michael Trickey Birthday Handicap Chase, the Bob Buckler-trained Malin Head went off a 7-4 favourite and for much of the race was nip and tuck for the lead alongside Quayside Court (11-2) under Gerald Quinn.
Into the home straight for the final time, Roybuoy (5-1) under claimer Brendan Powell mounted a late challenge, but as they came nearer to the finishing post Quayside Court drew away and ran out a 25-length winner from Roybuoy while third place went to Might as Well (8-1), ridden by Andrew Thornton.
The final action, the ATR Predictor Maiden Open National Hunt Flat race, was won by Kilmurvy (8-1) under Nick Scholfield, ahead of Carole's Destrier (25-1) for Neil Mulholland while Hare In A Round, the 7-4 favourite under McCoy, was third.
Taunton will race next on Thursday, November 29, when the first race of the seven on the card is due to go to post at 12.35pm.